Doc on pitched battle with ISIS in Syria comes to Iranian art houses
Art and Experience: The acclaimed documentary “The Barrage” that is about a fierce battle between Iranian forces and ISIS terrorists in Syria came to the Art and Experience Cinema halls across the country.
Co-directed by Morteza Payeshenas and Hossein Momen, the film was named best documentary in the national competition of the 13th Cinéma Vérité, Iran’s major documentary film festival, in December 2019.
Produced at Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC), the film had a special screening at the Iranian Artists Forum on Tuesday, which was attended by Payeshenas, producer Morteza Sha’bani and DEFC director Mohammad Hamidi-Moqaddam.
In a short speech made before the screening, Payeshenas thanked people for their presence at the screening despite the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said that his film would have a profound impact only when it is viewed in movie theaters.
“My film has been screened at the Art and Experience Cinema halls, which are dedicated to screening art films, and for which review sessions are organized, and this interaction is really significant for me,” he added.
He said that all the events in the film are set in Syria in a difficult situation, and that he has tried to edit the scenes in a way so that viewers in the audiences feel themselves to be on location.
Sha’bani also described filmmaking in wartime as difficult, and said that he did not suppose that his crew welcomed his proposal for making a documentary in Syria under difficult conditions.
“I was worried that I might receive a positive answer if I ask the crew members to carry out a film project in Syria,” he said and added that contrary to this idea, many people lined up for the journey to Syria.
“‘The Barrage’ portrays a small part of the great efforts made by the film crew to make the documentary so as to remain for future generations,” Sha’bani noted and added, “Such documentaries can illustrate the resistance for future generations.”
Sha’bani was nominated for the Islamic Revolution Artist of the Year award in 2019 for “The Barrage”. However, he failed to receive the honor, which is annually presented by the Art Bureau of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization.