Ahmad Talebinezhad Film Critic review of “Bitter Dream” Directed by Mohsen Amir Yousefi
َArt and Experience: Joking with death and judgment day has a long record in literature and art. From Ardavirafnaameh written in Sasanid age which its subject was traveling to the other world and the news which comes from it to us in this world to Divine Comedy of Dante, the Italian poet thousand years later, the objective travel to heaven and hell that surprise everybody because of its huge bravery and imagination; until some rare happenings about death and life which are funny while they are serious. I just remember that Graham Green, the great writer, becomes depressed when he was young and decides to commit suicide. In a six-month process, in the beginning of every month he takes a gun and loads a bullet then goes to a forest to end his life but every six times the bullet doesn’t work. Later, he talks about this event as a tragic comedy. Mohsen Amir Yousefi, the filmmaker who joke very serious subjects in his cinematic works, at least in his two films “Bitter Dream” and “Fire-Worker” had a great joke with death and even broke taboos in this field. For instance, in “Fire-Worker” he has portrait a funny image of heaven and hell. Wondering of the main character in the hell and seeing some promised behests in religions, wanted or unwanted, remind Dante to mind.. However, “Bitter Dream” is not about death. It is about preliminaries and preparing for the judgement day. An old man in a village/town in suburbs of Isfahan works in a mortuary, so his life is full of loneliness and now he is on the threshold of death. Therefore, he chose a young man as his assistant and teaches him the principles and regulations and rules of his job. On the other hand, the old man considered the conditions of his gravestone also the way of his funeral with the badger of the village and prepares to death. One of these days, the young guy’s mother has brought some food, at the moment the old man sees his mother, he falls in love with her, so he loves living. Now, this is the struggle between death and life. The type of narrative and structure of the film is tragic but it is funny that releases the audience from the fear of death and thinking of it.