An shab ke barun amad (1967)
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I had the very good fortune of being present for the director's very first visit to the United States. Never having heard of Kamran Shirdel before, I thought it worth checking out a foreign filmmaker from a country that has been a global hotspot for the past few decades.
What an experience, listening to this genius speak. I saw this film as a part of a two night talk that screened seven of his films and they are all brilliant. Taught be Italian neo-realists, the influence is present but gives a unique voice the opportunity to present a vision of reality that is often misrepresented or otherwise skewed.
The insights he provided about the system he lived and worked in greatly enhanced my appreciation of his work. Most of the films screened were commissioned by the Iranian government and nearly all of them were subsequently banned and confiscated. Viewing this piece in particular it is not hard to see why.
On a simple assignment to document the heroic actions of a village boy, Shridel composes an entertaining expose on a story that no two people can agree upon. The editing is the stand out here. In what could have been a simple linear story, Shridel juggles multiple versions in which really plays with the adage that there are three sides to every story (or in this case more than three with the most important one lost to all involved).
If you ever have a chance to check out a Kamran Shridel film, especially if he is present to talk about it, I highly recommend it. He is an overlooked voice from within a misrepresented part of the world providing a rare glimpse into truth.
Brilliant film about the elusiveness of truth, state corruption and maybe even religion?
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #44 in Sight & Sound's 75 Hidden Gems
This movie ranks #55 in Film Magazine's Best Iranian Films
This movie ranks #426 in ICM Forum's 500<400