2020 ( Germany | Iran | Czech Republic ) ( Drama )
( Persian and German with English subtitles )
DIRECTOR: Mohammad Rasoulof
STARRING: Baran Rasoulof, Zhila Shahi, Masoud Tosifyan
Four stories from contemporary Iran, all linked by the theme of capital punishment and suppression of freedoms, make up this Berlin Golden Bear-winning drama from Mohammad Rasoulof. It’s a typically forthright and powerful work from the director, who was sentenced to a year in prison in 2020 after three of his films were found to be “propaganda against the system”.
Rather than take as its subject the prisoners sentenced to death, the film instead explores the impact on those who must enact the order; who, one way or another, are left with their own life sentences. The film consists of a series of moral parables about Iran’s death penalty and its perpetrators, made in open defiance of the restrictions the government put on him.
There is great technique in the storytelling, and Rasoulof’s outrage at the state-sanctioned murder gives the film passion.