Iranian cinema shines at Argentine labor film festival

May 18, 2019

TEHRAN – Several movies from Iran have won awards at the Construir Cine International Labor Film Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the organizers have announced.

“The Respectful Gypsy” by Mehdi Ghafuri was crowned best short fiction at the event, which took place in the capital city of Argentina from May 9 to 15.

The film is about a group of gypsy women packed like animals in the back of a truck, which goes to the city center every day to sell all kinds of goods and products to drivers who stop at traffic lights. However, behind this itinerant street work, there is a man who runs the business and ends up taking most of the profits. The male chauvinism, the constant debt, and the enslaving force of this practice mean that the vendors do not find economic freedom that will allow them to escape in the future from the circle of violence to which they are being subjected.

“Breathing” by Frashid Ayyubinejad won a mention of merit in this section.

The movie tells the story of a group of Iranian men who, without medical care or protection from any regulatory body, earn their living working in a stone factory. They have to hide each time the insurance agent arrives. Confined in a small room while waiting to return to their posts, those dissatisfied with their working conditions consider the idea of rebelling against the manager and leaving the job. As the minutes pass, the tension in the bunker increases, claustrophobia spreads and the atmosphere thickens. One of them suffers an asthma attack, but little by little the air becomes scarce for everyone.

Director Rebwar Mahmudpur’s documentary “A Step to Go” received a mention of excellence in the short documentary category.

The film is about Saman, an Iranian son who has to leave his parents’ house to take a new path and continue his studies outside the country. The definitive decision was a pivotal and painful fact for the family. The sadness for Saman’s departure left his mother ten days without food and introduced an expectation to embrace him again that was put off more and more until reaching eight years. This tearful and emotional documentary goes through the rendezvous of the family circle with that member who, for a long time, was present in the form of videos and photographs stuck in the corner of the house.

“The Tent” by Russian director Dmitrii Fetisov was selected as best short documentary.

“The Silence of the Wind” directed by Alvaro Aponte-Centeno from Puerto Rico also won the award for best film.

Photo: A scene from director Mehdi Ghafuri’s short drama “The Respectful Gypsy”.

MMS/YAW