Iranian New Wave Cinema Nomad Tribes of Iran Special: ‘Gabbeh’ (1996)

GabbehgabbehSunday May 22th 2016, Iranian new wave cinema: Gabbeh (1996). In Farsi with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

Gabbeh is a 1996 Iranian film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Gabbeh is a brilliantly colorful, profoundly romantic ode to beauty, nature, love and art. Mohsen Makhmalbaf originally traveled to the remote steppes of southeastern Iran to document the lives of an almost extinct tribe of nomads. For centuries, these wandering families created special carpets – Gabbeh – that served both as artistic expression and autobiographical record of the lives of the weavers. Spellbound by the exotic countryside, and by the tales behind the Gabbehs, Makhmalbaf’s intended documentary evolved into a fictional love story which uses a gabbeh as a magic story – telling device weaving past and present’ fantasy and reality.

Synopsis:
On the banks of a stream, an old woman and her husband are washing their Gabbeh. From this carpet comes forth a beautiful young woman – aptly named Gabbeh – who shares her epic tale: she is desperately in love with a mysterious horseman who follows her clan from after. Though her father has agreed to let her marry the man, season after season, the horseman follows Gabbeh—always present, always waiting, howling songs of love after nightfall.

Delicately interlaced with this simple and touching love story are the people whose lives are shaped by the rhythms of nature, and who instinctively express the joys and sorrows of life through song, poetry, and the tales they tell in their brilliantly-hued weavings.

More about the film: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=film%2Fgabbeh
More about the director: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=mohsen
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYEXQcZZL90 […Lees verder]

Iranian New Wave Cinema: Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (2007)

Buddha_Collapsed_Out_of_ShameSunday April 17th 2016, Iranian New Wave Cinema: Buddha collapsed out of shame (Hana Makhmalbaf, 2007). In Dari with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (Persian:بودا از شرم فرو ریخت : Buda az sharm foru rikht) is a 2007 Iranian film directed by Hana Makhmalbaf. The story takes place in modern Afghanistan following the removal of the Taliban and revolves around a 5-year-old Afghan girl who wants to attend a newly opened school. The girl Bakhtay (Nikbakht Noruz) lives in the caves under the remains of the Buddhas of Bamiyan which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Bakhtay becomes obsessed with the idea of going to school but must fight against a society influenced by conditions suffered during the strict Taliban rule including male domination, war, poverty and dire children’s games.

Synopsis:
Amidst the wreckage beneath the ruined statue of the Buddha, thousands of families struggle to survive. Baktay, a six-year-old Afghan girl is challenged to go to school by her neighbour’s son who reads in front of their cave. Having found the money to buy a precious notebook, and taking her mother’s lipstick for a pencil, Baktay sets out. On her way, she is harassed by boys playing games that mimic the terrible violence they have witnessed, that has always surrounded them. The boys want to stone the little girl, to blow her up as the Taliban blew up the Buddha, to shoot her like Americans. Will Baktay be able to escape these violent war games and reach the school?

Director’s View:
In a period of 25 years Afghanistan has experienced many rulers; the communist Russians, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic extremists Taliban and western or laic Christians. Each of these rulers in order to save Afghanistan from the hegemony of the other have initially attacked and destroyed this country. The present day destructions in Afghanistan are not limited to cities and homes. Now the children of this land in their games fire at each other with wooden arms and play the stoning game with little girls and place mines under each other’s feet in humor. How will these children who mock the game of war in childhood like adults play with each other and the future of humanity?

More about the film: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=film/buddha-collapsed-out-shame
More about the director: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=hana

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Iranian New Wave Cinema: The Silence (1998)

Silence_by_Mohsen_MakhmalbafSunday February 21st 2016, Iranian new wave cinema: The Silence (1998) by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

The Silence (Persian: سکوت‎‎) is an Iranian film from 1998. It is directed by the well known Iranian film maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The movie is about a little boy who has the onerous task of earning money for his family, but is always enchanted and distracted by music. It is set in Tajikistan.

Synopsis: Khorshid lives with his mom in a house near a river somewhere in Tajikistan. The landlord comes around every morning to ask for the rent. Khorshid has to provide the money or else they’ll have to leave. His blindness has given him an amazing skill in tuning musical instruments which gets him a job at an instrument making workshop. But the problem is That Khorshid is mesmerized by sonorous music all the time; whenever he hears a great musician play, he loses track of time and place. For this, he always gets lost and gets to work late. How is he going to make a balance between his love of music and his task as a breadwinner. […Lees verder]

Iranian new wave cinema: Afghan Alphabet (2002)

20160131_iranian_new_wave_cinema_afghan_alphabetSunday January 31st 2016, Iranian new wave cinema: Afghan Alphabet (2002) by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

The Afghan Alphabet (Persian: الفبای افغان‎‎, Alefbay-e afghan) is a 2002 documentary by Mohsen Makhmalbaf showing the life of children in the Afghan villages bordering Iran, and how their life and culture were affected by the Taliban regime.

Synopsis:

Mohsen Makhmalbaf tracks the children who do not attend school in the border villages between Iran and Afghanistan with his digital camera and questions why they are not being educated. He finds girls studying in UNICEF classes in one region. One of the girls is not willing to come out of her burqa despite the fact that she has run away from Afghanistan and the Taliban are not present here. She is more afraid of the horrifying god that the Taliban have created than the Taliban.

In 2002 about 3 million Afghan refugees were living in Iran. From those about 700,000 were Afghan children who were not allowed to go to Iranian schools because of their illegal status in Iran. After this movie was made, this subject became controversial and finally the Islamic Consultative Assembly passed a bill to allow Afghani children to go to school and it resulted in 500,000 kids getting education.

More about the film: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=film/afghan-alphabet

More about the director: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=mohsen

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Iranian Movie night: Kandahar (2001)

KANDAHAR_Mohsen_MakhmalbafSunday November 22nd 2015, Iranian Movie night: Kandahar (by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 2001, 85 minutes). In Farsi and Pashto, with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

Kandahar (Dari-Persian: قندهار Qandahar) is a 2001 Iranian film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, set in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban. Its original Persian title is Safar-e Ghandehar, which means “Journey to Kandahar”, and it is alternatively known as The Sun Behind the Moon. The film is based on a partly true, partly fictionalized story of a successful Afghan-Canadian, played by Nelofer Pazira, who returns to Afghanistan after receiving a letter from her sister, who was left behind when the family escaped, that she plans on committing suicide on the last solar eclipse of the millennium.

Kandahar was filmed mostly in Iran, including at the Niatak refugee camp, but also secretly in Afghanistan itself. Most people, including Nelofer Pazira, played themselves. The film premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, but did not get much attention at first. After 9/11, however, it was widely shown. Kandahar won Makhmalbaf the Federico Fellini Prize from UNESCO in 2001.

Synopsis: Nafas is a reporter who was born in Afghanistan, but fled with her family to Canada when she was a child. However, her sister wasn’t so lucky; she lost her legs to a land mine while young, and when Nafas and her family left the country, her sister was accidentally left behind. Nafas receives a letter from her sister announcing that she’s decided to commit suicide during the final eclipse before the dawn of the 21st century; desperate to spare her sister’s life, Nafas makes haste to Afghanistan, where she joins a caravan of refugees who, for a variety of reasons, are returning to the war-torn nation. As Nafas searches for her sister, she soon gets a clear and disturbing portrait of the toll the Taliban regime has taken upon its people.

More about the film: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=film/kandahar
More about the director: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=mohsen

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Iranian Movie night: At Five in the Afternoon (2003)

At_Five_in_the_Afternoon_Maysam_MakhmalbafSunday September 20th 2015, Iranian Movie Night: At Five in the Afternoon (Persian: پنج عصر, Panj é asr‎) by Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran, 2003, 106 min.). In Dari Persian with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

It tells the story of an ambitious young woman trying to gain an education in Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban. The title comes from a Federico García Lorca poem and is a tale of flourishing against the odds. At Five in the Afternoon was the first film to be shot in Kabul after the NATO invasion.
After the fall of the Taliban regime, the schools again open their doors to girls. Nogreh (Agheleh Rezaie) dreams of liberation. She wants to become Head of State (following Benazir Bhutto’s example), in order to reform the status of the Afghan woman. But the girl and her family only meet misery and desolation in a country in ruins.
This third full-length film by the talented Iranian filmmaker is without question her most pessimistic. It’s the prolongation of the segment she directed within the framework of the collective film 11′ 09′ 01. It also echoes the film Kandahar, directed by her father.

More info about the director: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=marziyeh
More about the film: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=film/At-five-in-the-afternoon

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Iranian Movie night: The Day I Became a Woman (2000)

TheDayIBecameAWomanSunday July 19th 2015, Iranian Movie night: The Day I Became a Woman (Persian: Roozi ke zan shodam, روزی که زن شدم‎) by Marzieh Meshkini (2000, 78 minutes). In Persian with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

It is comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. It premièred at the 2000 Venice Film Festival and won several festival awards during 2000. This film is episodic and it consists of 3 stories about the women’s situation in Iran.

First story: Hava
One morning a small girl named Hava wakes up and notices that she has become a woman because she is now 9 years old and playing in the streets with the boys is considered a sin from that day on. Hava cries and asks her grandmother to go to the street for one last goodbye with the boys.

Second story: Ahoo
This episode is about a young lady whom participates in the women’s bicycle race with her black traditional chador (veil) and her husband, while riding a horse, threatens to divorce her if she doesn’t get off the bicycle.

Third story: Houra
This episode is about an old woman whom has inherited some money during the last years of her life after years of poverty and now she has decided to spend all the money before she dies and to buy all the stuff that she always wished to buy during her life.

The film was co-written by director Marzieh Meshkini, from a script by her husband Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It was shot on Kish Island in the Hormozgān Province in southern Iran. Meshkini has said that as a female filmmaker, she found making a film in Iran particularly difficult, having to prove her abilities to the cast and crew before being accepted by them.

More info about the director: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=marziyeh
More about the film: http://www.makhmalbaf.com/?q=film/the-day-I-Became-A-Woman

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Kurdish Movie Night: Blackboards (“Takhté siah”)

MV5BMTUwOTM0NzgyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjU1OTQyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_Sunday June 14th 2015, Kurdish Movie Night: Blackboards ( تخته سیاه‎, by Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran, 2000, 88 min.). In Kurdish with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

After the chemical bombing of Halabcheh in Iraq a number of Kurd refugee teachers seek for pupils who are willing to educate around the border as they carry their blackboards like Jesus’ crosses. One of them encounters a group of teenage smugglers and tries to convince them to educate as they carry their heavy backpacks full of smuggled stuff. The other teacher encounters a group of old and tired men, whom after years of migration are going to their own country to die there. But it seems that hunger and insecurity has not left any chance for the education of the generations.

The film focuses on a group of Kurdish refugees after the chemical bombing of Halabja by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War. The screenplay was co-written by Makhmalbaf with her father, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The dialogue is entirely in Kurdish and Makhmalbaf describes it as “something between reality and fiction. Smuggling, being homeless, and people’s efforts to survive are all part of reality… the film, as a whole, is a metaphor.” […Lees verder]