Saturday, April 21, 2012


Friday afternoon I was at the 1st regular screening of the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival. Filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof was arrested at the same time as Jafar Panahi & also received a 6 year prison sentence & a 20 year ban on travel & filmmaking. He made Goodbye in secret. It's a meticulously slow drama showing a young woman's attempt to emigrate from Iran, a process involving brazen bribery & stoic reticence. She seems unusually isolated, & it gradually becomes evident that she is in grave danger. When 2 policeman arrive to search her apartment, we endure the entire incident with her, watching in real time from a fixed point of view. Despite its deliberate pace, the film is frightening.

The packed screening was introduced by festival programmer Rachel Rosen, who told us that the film had to be smuggled out of Iran. She also brought us up to date on Mr. Rasoulof's status. His 6 year prison sentence has been reduced to 1 year, & he has recently appeared in Rotterdam & has had a new script approved, so it seems that the authorities are not enforcing the travel & filmmaking ban.

§ Bé omid é didar (Goodbye)
director, Mohammad Rasoulof
Iran, 2011, 100 min

55th SF International Film Festival
Fri, Apr 20    1:30 / Kabuki
Sat, Apr 21    1:00 / Kabuki
Mon, Apr 23    6:30 / Kabuki

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