Iranian films line up for Bengaluru festival

February 20, 2022 - 18:26

TEHRAN – Eight Iranian movies will be competing in the 13th Bengaluru International Film Festival opening on March 3 in the Indian city of Bengaluru.

“A Hero”, “180°Rule” and “Fathers” will be screened in the Cinema of the World category, while “Absence”, “Careless Crime”, “Killer Spider”, “The Alien” and “Two Dogs” will be showcased in the Asian Cinema competition.

“A Hero”, a co-production between Iran and France directed by two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi, won the Grand Prix (ex aequo) at Cannes 2021.  

It follows Rahim, who is in prison because he was unable to pay a debt. During a two-day leave of absence from prison, he attempts to have his creditor withdraw his complaint over part of the sum owed. But things don’t go as planned.

Directed by Farnush Samadi, “180°Rule” tells the story of a school teacher from Tehran, who is preparing to attend a wedding in northern Iran. When her husband suddenly forbids her to go, she makes a choice that will place her on a painful path to atonement.

“Fathers” by Salem Salavati depicts that the confrontation of two different generations can lead to some problems, however, the film shows that an incident brings two generations together.

“Absence” has been directed by Ali Mosaffa, producer of “180°Rule”.

The film is about an Iranian man who visits Prague to investigate his father’s youth in the city. He finds himself in the shoes of a third man who is almost dead and happens to be of Iranian origin. The film shows how the heavy security atmosphere coming after the 1953 military coup in Iran forced some to flee the country to seek asylum in Eastern Europe.

“Careless Crime”, winner of the Premio Bisato d’Oro for Best Original Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, has been directed by Shahram Mokri.

It shows that protestors forty years ago, during the uprising to overthrow the Shah’s regime in Iran, set fire to movie theaters as a way of showing opposition to Western culture. Forty years have passed and, in contemporary Iran, four individuals also decide to burn down a cinema. Their intended target is a theater showing a film about an unearthed, unexploded missile. 

Ebrahim Irajzad has directed “Killer Spider” based on a true story that occurred over ten years ago in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad.

Saeid is a forty-year-old mason, severe and fanatical in his religious beliefs. One day his wife is accosted by a driver who assumes she is a prostitute. Seething with rage, Saeid seeks revenge.

Directed by Nader Saeivar, “The Alien” follows two mysterious strangers in a car. They begin to park daily in an otherwise ordinary Iranian neighborhood and are suspected to be national security, which unleashes a wave of paranoia and distrust among the neighbors, as each one feels they have reasons to be watched. The neighbors collectively suspect, however, that the main target for the surveillance is Bakhtiar, a Kurdish teacher, a newcomer and a foreigner, and attempt to pressure him into giving himself up or leave the neighborhood.

“Two Dogs” directed by Amir Azizi is about Iman and Sajjad, two young men who are struggling with problems typical for 30-year-olds in contemporary Iran: unemployment, depression and lack of self-confidence. Iman is translating Franz Kafka’s “Investigations of a Dog” into Farsi and works as a cab driver, too. His passengers are similar to the characters of Kafka’s story. Sajjad, Iman’s best friend, is very inhibited because of the way he looks and is trying to obtain enough money for surgery. They both have dogs that look very similar to their owners. The dogs, not always welcomed by the families, make the men feel less lonely living in traditional Iranian society.

The Bengaluru International Film Festival will run until March 10.

Photo: Zuzana Stivínová and Ali Mosaffa act in a scene from “Absence”.


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