Movies from Iran line up for Washington DC festival

October 3, 2020 - 17:36

TEHRAN – Four movies by Iranian filmmakers have been selected to compete in the 34th Annual Washington DC International Film Festival, which opened on Friday.

“Coup 53” by Taqi Amirani, “Just 6.5” by Saeid Rustai, “Yalda: A Night for Forgiveness” Masud Bakhshi and “Driving Lessons” by Marzieh Riahi will be screened in various section of the event that will be running until October 11. 

While making a documentary about the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953, Amirani and editor Walter Murch find an extraordinary and never before seen archive. Documents and 16mm footage recount this story in unprecedented detail, with explosive revelations about secrets hidden for 66 years. From a historical documentary about four days in August 1953, the film becomes a living investigation that exposes the roots of Iran’s volatile relationships with the United Kingdom and the USA.

Starring Payman Maadi and Navid Mohammadzadeh, “Just 6.5” is about a police group under the leadership of Samad who has been assigned to arrest Nasser Khakzad, a major drug trafficker in Tehran.

“Yalda: A Night for Forgiveness” is about Maryam, a young woman who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband, Nasser. Iranian law allows the victim's family to forgive her and spare her life, so Maryam's fate will be decided by Nasser's daughter, Mona, on the country's most popular televised reality show. In front of millions of viewers during Yalda, the winter solstice celebration, Maryam and Mona discover that forgiveness can be difficult as they relive the past.

The film won the special mention for best screenplay at the 24th Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria in July.

The award-winning short drama “Driving Lessons” tells the story of Bahareh who, according to the laws of Iran, must have her traditional, chauvinistic husband accompany her to driving lessons so she and her male instructor will not be alone.

Photo: This combination photo shows a poster for the 34th Annual Washington DC International Film Festival and scenes from the Iranian movies competing in the event.