Salaam, cinema!

Salaam, cinema!

Cine Darbaar, a Delhi-based community of cineastes, will be screening three contemporary Iranian films to celebrate Iran’s National Day (11 February), at the Iran Culture House on 11 and 13 February.

The Iranian cultural landscape has witnessed the mushrooming of immense cinematic talent in the past generation. Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen and Samira Makhmalbaf, Jafar Panahi and Majid Majidi, among others, have been the flag bearers of this cinematic wave, garnering critical acclaim across the world. An almost unbelievably simple rendering of complex political and social ideas is married to awe-inspiring narrative techniques in their films, resulting in a unique style of storytelling. The festival will, however, showcase works by directors who are relatively less famous, yet whose works resonate with a subtlety of feeling and aesthetic sensibilities so quintessentially Iranian.

“We have already done three or four Iranian film festivals till now. This time around we wanted to show films by directors who are relatively lesser known and whose films have appeared in the last decade. Also, we wanted to screen films that have not been screened yet. So to provide a fresh perspective, we decided upon this set of films," says Supriya Suri, artistic director, Cine Darbaar.

Vahid Mousaian’s Silence of the Sea will open the festival. An exile’s nostalgia and longing for his homeland pervades the mood of this film which sees Siavash, the protagonist, forced into making a choice between his homeland and his life.

Mohammad Latifi’s The Third Day chronicles the travails of a brother-sister duo caught in the web of the Iran-Iraq War, with the brother trying to rescue his sister from the clutches of the Iraqi Baathist forces. “This is the first film on the Iran-Iraq war that we are screening. People don’t know much about this event, and since this movie brings a fresh perspective to the war with its tale of a brother and a sister, we decided to show this one," says Suri.

The festival closes with an epistolic tale on the freedom of women in Iran. Tahmini Milani’s The Hidden Half sees its female protagonist trying to influence her husband into pardoning a woman—a political prisoner—who has been sentenced to death.

All in all, the festival promises to entertain audiences with a variety of works that touch upon myriad facets of life in Iran. And when coupled with the Iranian tea being served at the festival, it promises to be a complete sensory experience.

The Iranian Film Festival will be held at the Iran Culture House, Tilak Marg, New Delhi, on 11 and 13 February. Silence of the Sea is being screened on 11 February at 6.30pm, The Third Day on 13 February at 4.30pm, and The Hidden Half on 13 February at 6.30pm.