From May 29 to June 1, Munich is celebrating Iranian film at the Monopol cinema at Nordbad. The Iranian film industry is flourishing. Iran has been making groundbreaking, creative and compelling movies for years now (despite censorship measures placed upon Iranian filmmakers), and Iranian cinema inspired me to take a trip to Iran earlier this year.
Both Michael Haneke and Werner Herzog have praised the quality of Iranian films, and I am thrilled that Iranian movies now have a festival of their own in Munich.
One of the films that will be shown is The Desert Fish, directed by Mohammad Ghorbankarimi. The movie was filmed to the east of Tehran, in the north of the country, and judging from the trailer, it’s a cinematic feast for the eyes, much as the Italian movie La Grande Bellezza was:
It will be showing at a quarter to nine on May 29. It will be the film’s European premiere, and the director will be present.
The Iranian film Closed Curtain premiered at the Berlinale last year, where the director Jafar Panahi won the Silver Bear for best script for the film. The New Wave director was issued with a 20-year ban on making movies in 2010, following several years of conflict with the Iranian government regarding the content of his films, but this hasn’t stopped Panahi – in 2011 he made a movie entitled This is Not a Film…
Closed Curtain was shot in secret, as Panahi’s second movie following the ban, at the director’s beachfront villa on the Caspian Sea. The movie starts of fictiously, documenting an unnamed screenwriter who brings his dog to the Caspian Sea villa. Under Islamic law, dogs are considered unclean, and the screenwriter tries to hide the dog from the outside world. The film takes on a very surrealist element when the director himself shows up, and is documented in everyday situations. It is a film of courage and cowardice in Iran, of absurdity and free expression. It sounds utterly fascinating, and if you’re interested in catching it, you can see it on June 1 at 8:45pm.
Several other Iranian movies will also be showing at the festival, including Kiosk – A Generation Destroyed by Madness, a documentary about the Iranian underground rock band Kiosk, and how their lyrics became a voice for a generation. Modest Reception, a road trip movie full of wonderful Iranian black humour will be screened at 8:45pm on May 30, and if you’re interested in the history of Iranian film, Blames and Flames (5:30pm, May 31) will help to clarify Iranian cinema’s development. Tickets for each movie cost 8.50 € and you can book in advance online.