Melbourne Intl. Film Festival spotlights Iranian cinema
Art and Experience:
The Melbourne International Film Festival has spotlighted Iranian cinema as the organizers of the prestigious Australian event plan to screen several movies by Iranian filmmakers in the 2021 edition.
“Ballad of a White Cow” by Behtash Sanaeiha and Maryam Moqaddam is a highlight of the Iranian film lineup.
The film is about Mina, a young woman who lives alone with her deaf child as her husband was executed for a murder charge a year ago. She tries to get her life together, take good care of her child and make both ends meet. However, her life gets more sorrowful when she finds out that her husband was innocent.
The film won third place in the 2021 Berlinale Competition Audience Award this year.
“Sun Children” by Majid Majidi is another Iranian film that has been selected to be screened at the event, which will be running from August 5 to 22.
The film depicts the rough-and-tumble streets of Tehran where 12-year-old Ali and his crew of adolescent street urchins are recruited by a crime boss to steal some treasure buried beneath a local school. The kids will have to enroll in the school to gain access to the tunnels underneath. With the plan set in motion, these juvenile miscreants are soon exposed to a different kind of education.
Numerous international events, including the 77th Venice Film Festival, have also screened the movie. The festival honored the film’s star Ruhollah Zamani with the Marcello Mastroianni Award.
The organizers also will screen “The Wasteland” by Ahmad Bahrami.
It depicts the mounting tensions among the ethnically diverse workers of a crumbling, archaic brick manufacturing plant seemingly removed from civilization. The story focuses on 40-year-old Lotfollah, who has lived his entire life within the building and acts as a mediator between the workers and their boss.
Directed Kurosh Ahari, “The Night”, a co-production between Iran and the USA will also be showcased.
In this film, Badak and Neda, lost and low on gas on their way home after dinner, decide to spend the night at the Hotel Normandie with their baby daughter. The 1920s-built LA establishment is eerily deserted, but they book a room anyway. There, inexplicable happenings coax tensions – some brewing since a period of separation while Neda was still in Iran – to surface, forcing the couple to face the fractures in their marriage on top of the malicious forces that are inching ever closer.
The lineup also includes “Bandar Band” by Manijeh Hekmat, “Chess of the Wind” by Mohammad Reza Aslani and “Radiograph of a Family” Firuzeh Khosravani.
Photo: “Sun Children” by Majid Majidi.