There is a very fine line that dictates the stories that are yours to tell, and the stories that you should tell. Fortunately, the programming committee approaches these blurred lines with grace, choosing films that uphold standards of dignity in documentary filmmaking.
Amidst cold nights in abandoned buildings, far and arduous treks through shrubs and forest, threats from both cops and smugglers, and an endless sense of shaky ground beneath their feet, a family captures their lightest, realest and most distinctly ordinary moments. This is the experience of Midnight Traveler.
Born In Evin does not exist to reinforce western perceptions of Iran, but instead serves as a relatable ode to the millions of first, second, and third generation of refugees and immigrants trying to move on from their haunted pasts.
In the 22 years since the end of the civil war in 1997, creatives in Tajikistan have faced economic stagnation, rising authoritarianism, cultural conservatism, and isolation from global conversations. This has forced creatives to make a choice: to work domestically with next-to-nothing budgets, no creative guidance, and little infrastructure, or to leave, learn, and navigate the booming yet competitive industries abroad.
Continuing our Beginner’s Guide to Farsi Cinema, Farsi Cinema Center has curated a concise list of rich, impactful films from the Farsi-speaking region. Our focus this week is on Afghan cinema.
In the first edition of our three part series, we place a spotlight on some of the most culturally significant, and industry-forming films from Iranian history. As one of the most active film industries in the world, Iranian cinema is best known for its visual and narrative art house characteristics that demand an awareness from its audiences. The films on our list have all transcended the tests of time, each informing the approach of future filmmakers to come.
One of FCC’s main goals is to foster co-productions between Farsi filmmakers and industry leaders around the world. Co-productions have a distinct advantage in the way they tell stories. The diverse interaction of culture and language fosters a higher level of creativity, which can translate into more interesting content.
Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan are very male-dominant societies, where the rights of women are heavily restricted. Despite the reality of its patriarchal culture, the film industries of the Farsi region present an unexpected anomaly; an abundance of highly respected, and critically-acclaimed female filmmakers.
While some argue that censorship has stifled growth in the Iranian film industry, others assert that the practice has forced filmmakers to use more creative and symbolic ways to express controversial messages.