Source: Radio Zamaneh
Iranian filmmaker Mehran Tamadon won the 36th Cinema Du Reel Grand Prize for his documentary Iranian on the evening of Saturday March 29 at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris.
A scene from "Iranian" documentary by Mehran Tamadon
Tamadon's film competed with 10 other films nominated in the category; the award consists of 8,000 euros and an opportunity for distribution.
Forty films from 26 countries participated in the festival, which started on March 20.
Iranian had also received attention following its screening at the Berlin Film Festival.
Mehran Tamadon took three years to complete Iranian and had to proceed with his project on several occasions without obtaining the necessary permits from Iranian authorities.
IRANIAN by Mehran Tamadon
(2014 - France / Switezerland - 105 min)
Production: L'atelier documentaire / Box Productions
Review on Cinema Du Reel film festival:
The filmmaker, an Iranian atheist living in France, invites three religious people to live in his family home. His purpose is to see how life in their shared living room can lead to the first rules of co-existence.
“I’m an Iranian who doesn’t think like them and I tell them so”: from 2010 to 2012, Mehran Tamadon, who lives in France, returns to his family home near Teheran to debate with the “defenders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”. Rearranged for the occasion, the living room is to serve as a shared space where he, the atheist, and three believers will live together on the basis of a commonly agreed constitution. Exhilarating to begin with, this arrangement resembles not so much a rhetorical trap as a family gathering or a psychoanalysis on a territory where many words - and parts of the human body - must not be unveiled. Cooking, lighting a fire, choosing framed photos to put in the library or listening to music: in the most commonplace materiality, it is the frontiers of a world that are being shifted inch by inch, in the painfully utopian hope that living together is possible - a microcosm where the house and the world can communicate. The epilogue recounts the project’s out-of-frame outcome, but the spatial and temporal frame of the film make this experience an unprecedented and heartrending exercise of political philosophy. (Charlotte Garson) -- watch the trailer
Review on berlinale film festival:
It took two years for Mehran Tamadon to persuade the four supporters of the Iranian regime to risk taking part in an experiment with him. Now he receives them as guests at his family's country house to try out something that does not exist in Iran: a pluralistic society. As the women disappear into the guest rooms, the men discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a secular society, the veil, abortion, freedom of the press... The guests not merely outnumber the filmmaker, who is critical of the regime, but are also masters of rhetoric. Again and again, they twist his words and use them against him. His secular society, they argue, is just as ideological as their religious one. The mood is contentious, but there's also a great deal of communal laughter, prayer and cooking. In the end, the attempt to create a social utopia fails as there are simply too many issues that are non-negotiable. But does that mean that the experiment itself has failed? After all, for a brief time, differing lifestyles and opinions managed to co-exist. A dialogue took place. For the filmmaker, however, there'll be a high price to pay.
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