Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

International Programme 2014
A House in Fog Mokhtar Namdar

A woman alone in an old manor in the Iranian mountains. A simple life of hard work and caring for animals, painted in the warmest colours. But this idyll has enemies …

A House in Fog

Documentary Film
Iran
2014
27 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Javad Zahiri
Mokhtar Namdar
Mohammad Rasouli
Emad Khodabakhsh
Mokhtar Namdar
Mehdi Sadeghi, Ali Hasanzadeh
Of course the house is far too big for one person. The 100-year old mansion handed down through generations still looks majestic in this idyllic hilly landscape somewhere in Iran, despite its decrepitude. Nowadays it has only one inhabitant, Soraiia Hassani, who runs and maintains it. She needs nobody else, since she has the animals and the daily chores that make her life meaningful.
The camera paints this life in the warmest colours, finding or inventing in casual arrangements images that are closer to painting than photography. Dark colours dominate and yet there is no feeling of loneliness. Such a life becomes imaginable. Soraiia seems to miss no one, or perhaps only those who are already dead. But every paradise has its enemies. Is it the public welfare office or the law, is it her secret or is it the ghosts of the past that don’t trust Soraiia to be able to live this hermit’s life, only because she is a woman?
Cornelia Klauß

A157

Documentary Film
Iran
2015
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Behrouz Nouranipour (Soureh Documentary Centre)
Behrouz Nouranipour
Mehdi Azadi
Behrouz Nooranipour, Kamran Jahedi
Behnam Sheikhahmadi
One of the most horrifying Isis operations was the physical and cultural genocide of the Yezidi Kurds in Iraq. After conquering the Shingal region west of Mossul the terrorist militia began to systematically kill the male population while thousands of children, girls and women were kidnapped, enslaved, forced into marriage or raped. Very few of them managed to escape and the survivors are marked for the rest of their lives. Like the sister Hailin and Roken and their friend Soolaf who live in a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in the UNHCR tent number 157. A miserable place, cold, rainy and oppressive, like the suffering etched deeply into the girls’ faces.

Iranian filmmaker Behrouz Nouranipour approaches the fate of his protagonists by reducing the visual level almost exclusively to the interior of the tent. This is where the girls huddle day after day, without expectations, alone, without protection. Their memories of the old life and its dreams, of parents and siblings who are lost or dead, and the depictions of the atrocities inflicted on them by the Jihadists evoke an image of dehumanisation that’s deeply harrowing. Who could close their heart to this suffering?

Matthias Heeder


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award
International Programme 2017
Advantage Mohammad Kart

A man yet or still a boy? This is the pivotal decision in a home for addicts in Tehran, where you have to face up to your dependencies if you want to get off the streets for good.

Advantage

Documentary Film
Iran
2016
68 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Mohammad Kart, Aban Askari
Mohammad Kart
Saba Neda’ee
Javad Razzaqizadeh
Esma’il Alizadeh
Mohammad Kart
Mehdi Kart
There is a place in Tehran where you learn whether you’re a man or still a boy. At least that’s how a member of the staff at a home where several dozens of men have found shelter to escape life on the street describes it. They all share a problem with addiction, injected heroin and cocaine, lived on garbage and left their families. In the home they want to get back on their feet, detoxify and learn to lead abstinent lives. Mohammad Kart is there when Hossein is admitted, a young man who has been mainlining for two years and promises to obey the rules. “I’ll remind you in 3 days.” Cold turkey comes next. Hossein and several others squirm in a room, sweat, have spasms. At last he is welcomed in a festive ceremony. He is even asked to play in the home’s football team, who are preparing for a prominent opponent.

Kart combines light episodes of community and hope with individual trips to nocturnal shelters on the outskirts of the Iranian capital. Images of misery alternate with images of sunrays shining into the dormitory in the morning, while bracing music is to lend support at the start of a new day.

Carolin Weidner

Alzheimer

Animated Film
Iran
2012
8 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alireza Hashempour
Alireza Hashempour
Selected Music
Alireza Hashempour
Malaeke Farhang Adib
Alireza Hashempour, Malaeke Farhang Adib
Mani Hashemian
An old man lives alone with his dog. Since he keeps forgetting everything, the dog has to think for him, every day. A satirical vision of life with Alzheimer’s.

Am I a Wolf?

Animated Film
Iran
2018
8 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

KANOON – Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children & Young Adults
Amir Houshang Moein
Mohamad Jafari
Amir Houshang Moein
Amir Houshang Moein
Amir Houshang Moein
Hosein Ghourchian
Children perform a puppet theatre version of the fairytale of “The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats”. They identify so strongly with their roles that the boundaries between acting and real life begin to blur. In restrained colours, the drawn animation shifts between these levels. For the boy who plays the big bad wolf the performance ends in an emotional borderline experience. This film is based on a collection of poetry by the Iranian children’s and youth book writer Afsaneh Shaban-nejad.

Annina Wettstein



Awarded with a Golden Dove in the International Competition Short Animated Film.

Asho

Documentary Film
Iran
2019
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Maryam Najafi
Jafar Najafi
Amir Shahabi
Ahmad Babadi
Huda Arshad Riahi
Saeid Bahrami
Asho knows not only how to deal with goats, he also knows about films. He tries to see at least one a day. His favourite director is Tim Burton. Always on the road (Asho means “eagle”), the Iranian shepherd’s son dreams of being an actor. By his side: his cousin and future wife Pari. Pari thinks that if Asho becomes a star, then so should she. But they both have been for a long time: This is their behind-the-scenes.

Carolin Weidner



Awarded with an Honorable Mention in the International Competition Short Animated and Documentary Film.

Ayan and the White Balloon

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Iran
2015
26 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

KASK Academy of art, Gent University, Belgium
Vida Dena
Emad, Meisam, Ali, Pooyan
Vida Dena
Dieter Diependaele, Vida Dena
Vida Dena
Milad, Michel Coquette
Hiding: behind masks, the white balloon, a fiction. The fears run deep. After five years in exile in Europe the director returns to Iran to make a film. She asks her friends to act in it. What starts as a game during the shoot gradually turns into a brutal clash between those who stayed and the one who left. Who has the prerogative of interpretation? What is a stereotype, what does the West want to see, what do the Iranians want to reveal about themselves?

Cornelia Klauß
International Programme 2013
Children of Plain Sa’adat Rahimzadeh

A beautiful and colourful ode to nature and the nomadic life of the Iranian tribe of the Lurs ...

2013

Children of Plain

Animadoc
Iran
2013
10 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sa’adat Rahimzadeh, Saba Animation Center
Sa’adat Rahimzadeh
Sa’adat Rahimzadeh
Hamid Fanaei
Alireza Ebrahiminejad
Sa’adat Rahimzadeh
Amin Sharifi
A beautiful and colourful ode to nature and the nomadic life of the Iranian tribe of the Lurs. An episode of the series “Whisperings from My Home”, which moves beyond the concept of linear storytelling.
International Programme 2019
Exodus Bahman Kiarostami

Every day, thousands of Afghans want to leave their Iranian exile. In the return centre in Tehran, the longing for home meets the Iranian bureaucracy. Human, complex, eye-opening.

Exodus

Documentary Film
Iran
2019
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Bahman Kiarostami
Bahman Kiarostami
Davood Maleki
Bahman Kiarostami
Every day, thousands flock to the “Imam Reza” return centre in Tehran to apply for their exit permit to Afghanistan. The drastic fall of the Rial exchange rate, triggered by the US sanctions against Iran, has made living in exile uneconomic for the more than three million Afghan refugees. But anyone who wants to return to their old home must squeeze through the bottleneck of the agency that is part of the Iranian interior ministry. This is where they are registered, often after years of illegality.

Bahman Kiarostami focuses on following the brief conversations of those eager to return with the Iranian civil servants, which reveal the complex causes and manifold consequences of migration. It is surprising and sometimes very moving how quickly closeness is generated in these basically bureaucratic encounters, how one question, a personal word makes them open up to the camera. “Exodus” shows that migration is a part of daily life worldwide and that this won’t change as long as war, persecution and economic hardship threaten lives. As long as there are causes for migration, people will set out. Borders and regulations may make their path (dramatically) difficult, but they won’t be able to extinguish their wish for a better life.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Family Relations

Documentary Film
Iran
2019
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nasser Zamiri
Nasser Zamiri
Nasser Zamiri
Nasser Zamiri, Neda Asadi
More than fifty relatives gather on a narrow terrace for a family photo. Right at the start, the director asks those who don’t want to be part of the film to go. Half of them leave the picture. Those who stay have therefore given their consent. What follows is the tragicomic retelling of an Iranian family saga in which everything revolves around the head of the family: “Haji Baba”, the father. They say he’s malicious and interfering. His children and his wife, who left him, raise serious charges, submit a complaint against him. As is so often the case, it is a matter of inheritance. Haji Baba denies everything. But who is right?

In his filmic family constellation, the filmmaker tries to keep his bearings in a jungle of conflicting statements. He does not arrange a direct confrontation between the factions, but gives every family member a stage, using surprising tools and lots of humour. He lovingly presents the outcast, who has a poem to recite or a romantic song to sing for every occasion. Secretly, Haji Baba dreams of fame, which this film will hopefully bring him.

Annina Wettstein
International Programme 2019
Khatemeh Hadi Zarei, Mehdi Zarei

14-year-old Khatemeh lives in extremely restrictive structures in the Iranian city of Shiraz. She runs away to escape a forced marriage. But the case is anything but clear.

Khatemeh

Documentary Film
Iran
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hadi Zarei, Mehdi Zarei
Hadi Zarei, Mehdi Zarei
Satar Oraki
Hadi Zarei, Mehdi Zarei
Babak Heidari
Alireza Alavian
The structures of Khatemeh’s family, who originally came from Afghanistan but have lived in the Iranian city of Shiraz for more than thirty years, are rigid. The fourteen-year-old girl was married to a man double her age. He was in a relationship with her older sister, who took her own life. He says: “When she died, I wanted to marry her sister because they look alike.” According to the men in the house, mental problems are common to all the women in the family. And now Khatemeh has run away, to a kind of women’s refuge, because she couldn’t stand it any longer. She wants a divorce. Some male relatives go to the refuge to take Khatemeh with them. Her brother says: “Death is better than being a whore.”

At first glance, the situation seems clear. In the course of the film, however, more and more discrepancies emerge. Khatemeh especially shifts unpredictably between mental states. Sometimes she curses her family and fights for her freedom, then she implores the women who run the refuge on her knees to let her go home no matter what. Other girls, who also took refuge in the home, are sometimes attacked violently by her. “Khatemeh” is like a desert storm which again and again obscures the view to reveal a new vista when it’s died down.

Carolin Weidner

Maned & Macho

Animated Film
Iran
2017
11 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Shiva Sadegh Asadi
Shiva Sadegh Asadi
Amir Pourkhalaji
Shiva Sadegh Asadi
Mohammad Nasseri, Shiva Sadegh Asadi
Shiva Sadegh Asadi
Shiva Sadegh Asadi
Changiz Sayad
An adolescent girl rejects the social role it’s meant to play and hides all her feelings and thoughts in a secret world filled with animal creatures. Over time it grows into a large outdoor enclosure for all kinds of quiet fantasies, dreams and fears which soon become untameable. Shiva Sadegh Asadi uses fascinating, flowing paintings to talk quietly about an “I” that grows louder and louder.

André Eckardt


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

None of Your Business

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Iran
2019
64 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Kaveh Farnam
Kamran Heidari
Kamran Heidari, Mansour Vahdani
Kamran Heidari
Saeideh Keshavarzi, Kamran Heidari
Ali Farmani
How he lived and died is nobody’s business, the singer Ebrahim Monsefi sings in a song documented in a video flickering with decay. It comes at the end of a film whose very existence asserts the opposite, because it narrates precisely that life, which was shaped by his love of music and a crash caused by the loss of loved ones. It started in the traditionally cosmopolitan southern Iranian seaport of Bandar Abbas at the Strait of Hormuz. There is even a (deserted) Hindu temple there, where the orphan grew up with his grandfather, surrounded by music from all over the world that was absorbed and interpreted by the locals. Thus Ebram learned to play the guitar at an early age and became a local star as a singer-songwriter, before he became addicted to heroin and died in 1997.

Today his songs are popular standards in the region. And catchy melancholy tunes which, in archive footage of Ebram himself and street sets of contemporary performers, become the vibrant framework of Kamran Heidari’s film. Added to this are restagings of individual stations of his life. And the artist as a spirit whose emerging, almost pathological obsession with femininity can also be read as a comment on the worldview of the never explicitly mentioned Islamic Revolution. Thus the film is more a parable than a biography, but also the portrait of a fascinating, vibrant city.

Silvia Hallensleben

Presence

Documentary Film
Iran
2013
18 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hossein Rasti
Hossein Rasti
Hossein Rasti
Hossein Rasti
Mosoud Asadi
Men flagellating themselves until blood flows, ecstatic moaning and masses of people overwhelmed by grief … Every year on the Day of Ashura, Shia Islam commemorates the death of the third Imam in the battle of Kerbela. The martial images of this procession shape our ideas of a religion whose history and present day are marked by repression and suffering.
Hossein Rasti, too, opens with this ritual but in a surprising twist turns to look at its secular side. There’s cooking and eating going on here. In a multi-purpose hall hastily converted into a sacred place, a host of cooks feed 5,000 believers with a traditional lamb stew. Rasti cuts from the mourners’ tears to those of the man who has to chop a mountain of onions. Hectolitres of soup are being prepared in huge, bubbling pots (if hell should exist, this is how it must look), ladled out at lightning speed and skilfully slapped in front of the rows of seated believers. Their orderly withdrawal is managed with the same routine.
Blood, meat, and bread – archaic symbols, which a skilful montage strips of their religious aura without damaging it. This powerful (and brave) miniature shows that a community of faith can also be defined in earthly terms.
Grit Lemke
Kids DOK 2018
Rainbow Children: Portrait of Elika Maryam Bayani

Little Elika explains that people in Iran like five things above all: rice, the sun, ice cream, fish and tulips. She gives a presentation about her home country in a Belgian school.

Rainbow Children: Portrait of Elika

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Iran
2018
12 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Maryam Bayani
Maryam Bayani
Victoire Bonin, Léo Malek
Maryam Bayani, Reza Mosadegh
Maryam Bayani
Maryam Bayani
Maryam Bayani, André Philips
Little Elika explains that people in Iran like five things above all: rice, the sun, ice cream, fish and tulips. She gives a presentation about her home country in a Belgian school, which includes a Persian poem she translates directly into French. Her audience is amazed: Elika talks differently all of a sudden. And so something strange playfully becomes familiar.

Kim Busch
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2018
Sentenced to Death Ahmad Jalili Jahromi

A group portrait of confident female criminals in Iran: neither charismatic bad girls nor victims of circumstances, but women with soft spots and hard edges, beyond familiar stereotypes.

Sentenced to Death

Documentary Film
Iran
2018
48 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Didar Shomali, Ahmad Jalili Jahromi
Ahmad Jalili Jahromi
Abbas Sarafraz
Sajjad Avarand, Ali Baghaei
Ahmad Jalili Jahromi
Ahmad Jalili Jahromi
Ensiyeh Maleki
A group portrait of evil women in Iran. One of them, Marjan, has been a drug dealer since childhood. She was imprisoned for gang crimes in conjunction with armed robbery and kidnapping. With other inmates, some of them convicted for murder, she founded a theatre group that was allowed to perform outside the prison, too. The work bound the women together, changed their perspectives and priorities, but did not turn them into new persons. Nor did it effect any delays in the execution of verdicts – including death sentences. During rehearsals, one of the actors, Safieh, learns that she will be executed on the next day.

Director Ahmad Jalili Jahromi meets his protagonists on equal terms, appoints himself neither lawyer nor judge, and certainly not the women’s probation officer. It’s astounding how the filmmaker manages to steer his narrative around the stereotypes of tragic victim or charismatic gangster moll and equally astounding how little effort is made in this film to court reflexive affection or compassion. Not to belittle affection and compassion, but especially in the cinema they are no more than reflexes and, as such, easily activated. “Sentenced to Death” chooses the harder path.

Ralph Eue