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Immortal Film Review

System Administrator Wednesday October 5, 2016
Immortal by Hadi Mohaghegh
Immortal by Hadi Mohaghegh

 

IMMORTAL (Mamiroo) Iran 2015

Director and Screenwriter: Hadi Mohaghegh Producer: Reza Mohaghegh, Majid Barzegar Director of Photography: Rozbeh Raiga Editor: Majid Barzegar Production and Costume Designer: Hossein Ghezelbash

Cast: Yadolah Shadmani, Meysam Farhomand, Fatemeh Bahador, Parisa Viseli, Mahyar Abravan, Tolo Jahanbazi

Production Company: Majid Barzegar Productions World Sales: Taat Films

Color, 90 minutes

The decision to give the NETPAC Award at the 14th Pacific Meridian Film Festival in Vladivostok to Hadi Mohaghegh’s film Immortal was surprisingly easy and was made quite fast. This Iranian film is outstanding in the true sense of the word, both visually and in regard to its narrative and its storytelling.

It starts with a panoramic view of a magnificent mountainous landscape somewhere in the Iranian desert. An old man approaches, pushing his obviously broken motorcycle. It is, as we will later learn, Ayaz (Yadolah Shadmani), a man who is eaten up by his grief: a few years ago, he drove a mini-bus with (almost) all his family in it home from a wedding party. In a terrible accident everybody in the vehicle died – except for Ayaz.

Ever since then, he has been ridden by guilt and has tried to kill himself in various ways but didn’t succeed. When he doesn’t attempt suicide he sits in his small house listening to a barely audible cassette tape with his wife’s voice on it. He lives with his only relative, his grandson Ebrahim (Meysam Farhomand) who tries furiously to prevent the old man from doing more damage to himself.

It is a constant fight between the two of them, and it is one like we have never seen on the screen before. The stubborn old man tries to run away, the teenage grandson has to tie him down, block the door or use other drastic means to stop Ayaz. At the same time, Ayaz’s health is deteriorating.

In a desperate measure, Ebrahim takes him to a very strange healer who performs an even stranger ritual on the old man – part of it probably Islamic but part of it definitely invented by a crazy witch doctor.

After what could be described as a purge, Ayaz is – at least – clean and shaven and most of the wounds he has inflicted upon himself have mended. Nevertheless it is quite clear that he will not be around for much longer, and so Ebrahim, a young but wise and gentle man takes it upon himself to ensure that his grandfather will be able to die peacefully. The boy marries his even younger cousin Narges (Fatemeh Bahador) who also helps to tend to the patient. Ayaz’s death comes as no surprise but to see him finally relased from his suffering is incredibly moving and deeply emotional.

Twenty-nine-year-old Iranian director Hadi Mohaghegh whose second film has already gathered several awards (in Busan 2015, among others) is clearly a filmmaker to watch – and so is his director of photography, Rozbeh Raiga. Together they have created a stunning and extraordinary film which deserves all the attention it can get.

- Andreas Ungerböck

International Women's Day

We are pleased to bring to you, for the second year, our International Women’s Day screening!

Free online screening | 8th March

IWD theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge. A challenged world is an alert world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge - Ubolsyn herself completely embraces the theme!

This year we invite you to a special free online screening of ULBOLSYN from director Adilkhan Yerzhanov. Our sincere thanks to the producers, Guillaume de Seille and Olga Khlasheva, for their generosity and their efforts in facilitating the screening.

Ulbolsyn Source Poffdotee

The film tells the story of a girl named Ulbolsyn (Kazakh for ‘let there be a son’) whose little sister Azhar is kidnapped by the regional mayor’s brother Urgen for marital purposes and taken away to his village. Ulbolsyn wants her sister to be free and to enter her into a foreign university so that she can pursue a future career. As soon as she learns about the incident, Ulbolsyn decides to fight for her sister and face down the patriarchal world of the people living in the Karatas village.

The film is the recipient of the NETPAC Award in Tallinn Black Nights and TRT award in CineLink Sarajevo WIP 2020

Watch MOVIE English | French