Avicii: True Stories • So wake me up when it's all over
An Icarus style portrait of a sensitive young man who was thrust too readily into the hedonistic world of the international music scene..
Movie Review :: The Macaluso Sisters
There's undeniable beauty and truth to The Macaluso Sisters that cannot be overlooked. Genuinely moving, captivating and, most importantly, grounded in pure, unadulterated humanism..
Samereh Rezaie • Actress and director
Afghan actress-director Samereh Rezaie talks about how important it is for the international community to continue supporting women and human rights in Afghanistan..
VENICE 2021 :: Orizzonti :: Promises :: Isabelle Huppert
Promises opened the Orizzonti line-up of the 78th Venice Film Festival - follows the current French film trend of broaching topics associated with public governance where..
Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark, hired to design set on new Netflix film
Queen of Denmark is to design the sets for a forthcoming Netflix film adapted from a novel by Karen Blixen, it has been announced..
‘Stillwater’ :: A tale of hard-earned second chances
Stillwater isn't perfect, but its thoughtful approach to intelligent themes -- and strong performances from its leads -- give this timely drama a steadily building power..
Persian Lessons :: Movie Review
Director Vadim Perelman creates a skilfully unfussy period style, avoiding genre cliches to focus on characters who are finely brought to life by an excellent cast..
‘Born a Champion’ :: A love letter to jiu-jitsu
Real-life Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints) stars as an aging fighter pulled into an underground Dubai tournament..
August 20-28
Karlovy Vary 2021

Michael Caine to receive Crystal Globe at 2021 Karlovy Vary film festival. He will join Johnny Depp and Ethan Hawke at this year’s film festival in Karlovy Vary..
VENICE 2021 Competition
'Parallel Mothers' to open the 78th Venice Film Festival
The Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar, who claims "It was in Venice, in 1983, that I was reborn as a director" will present his film..
Cannes 2021 :: ‘Titane’ Wins Palme d’Or
Julia Ducournau becomes only the second female director to claim Cannes' top prize. The grand jury prize was awarded to A hero, of Iranian Asghar Farhadi, and for Hyutti No. 6..
‘Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee’
Filmmaker Nanette Burstein tries to unravel the strange behavior of John McAfee, who left his life as a software mogul to become a recluse in the jungles of Belize..
Berlinale 2021 :: Souad :: Movie Review
'Souad' is remarkable not just for its razor- sharp, nonjudgmental insight, but also for the nuanced performances making each character rounded yet ultimately unknowable..
Berlinale 2021
Summer Special highlights

Cinema is back in Berlin! The Berlinale Summer Special opened on June 9 with a red carpet gala. Here are a few snapshots of the event. During the Summer Special from June 9-20..
CANNES 2021 :: ‘Year of the Everlasting Storm’
A sweeping and melancholic first trailer has arrived for Neon’s Secret Cannes Project, “The Year of the Everlasting Storm.” With films by Jafar Panahi, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal, ..
A New Book Reveals
Why Frank Sinatra believed Marilyn Monroe was murdered

"I tried to paint the portrait of a man very few people got to know as well as I did, I think he knew someday I'd share the stories he..
BERLINALE 2021 :: Awards :: 13 June :: 2 More Winners
The Berlinale adds two more winners to its list with Alice Diop’s We and Dasha Nekrasova’s The Scary of Sixty-First. The films scored the Awards for the Best Berlinale Documentary..
CANNES 2021
Netflix Declined Cannes Invite

Netflix Declined Invites to Premiere the Palme d'Or winner Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’ and Andrew Dominik’s ‘Blonde’. Cannes general delegate Thierry Frémaux revealed..
CANNES 2021 :: 6 - 17 July
The Cannes behemoth is back

16 filmmakers who have already taken part in the competition are battling it out with eight new entrants; 14 Europeans will be vying for Cannes’ coveted top prize..
14th Annual Iranian Film Festival :: San Francisco
Call For Film Submissions Open For the 14th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran. To submit your film, please..
‘The Long Excuse’ :: Review
Writer-director Miwa Nishikawa’s somber reflection on the strains of marriage and parenthood is punctuated with beautiful existential undertones. Centered on liars and swindlers — self-deception is the theme of..
Putin: A Russian Spy Story :: TV Series (2020)
An exploration of how Vladimir Putin deployed his knowledge of spy-craft as a politician, and how modern Russia evolved through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger..
‘Driveways’ :: Review
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The modest story of a mother, her son and an elderly neighbor feels like a salve right now—and gives Brian Dennehy a deserving swan song. Understated yet powerful..
Spreading Propaganda Through Films and TV
Intelligence agencies in Iran are increasingly using state-funded entertainment productions to spread state propaganda and improve their image among the public..
'Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade' :: Clever and Chilling Anime
In an authoritarian Japan, Fuse, part of an anti-terrorist police brigade, faces an internal enquiry. On a recent operation he hesitated to kill a female terrorist because of her youth..
Golden Globe Winners 2021 ::
'Nomadland' director Chloé Zhao won Best Director, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to take home that award, while the film itself won Best Motion – Picture Drama; Soul, Borat, The Queen's Gambit..
'How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal' :: Eugène Green
For years Portugal was the only country in Europe where there was no Coca-Cola. The director discusses his new "mini-film," devoted to the great Portuguese poet, advertising..
Copenhagen 2021 :: Vinterberg's 'Druk' snatches Five Robert Statuettes
In the category, Vinterberg was, among other things, up against himself, as he was also nominated for his role in the film “Riders..
Zindagi Tamasha :: Circus of Life :: 2020
‘It went from love to wanting to kill me.’ Sarmad Khoosat was the darling of Pakistan’s entertainment industry until his new film fell foul of fundamentalists – who called for him..
'No Choice' :: Tokyo 2020
It’s a slippery path up the mountain of human rights. Three good women clash when a determined lawyer takes on the case of a homeless girl against an idealistic doctor in Reza Dormishian’s legal thriller..
'Wife of a Spy' :: An intriguing marital battle
Winner of the best director award at the Venice Film Festival. An absorbing, exotic, well-paced thriller with moments of disconcerting realism and horror. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s..
"Actress's Ears" Put Film Screening in Jeopardy
Panthea Bahram, a famous Iranian actress, whose presence last year with shaved head at the press conference to a movie made news; reacted to the removal of "Killer and..
'Hope Gap' :: A Bracingly Original Drama
There's an unusual calmness to this drama that feels bracingly original. William Nicholson's Hope Gap benefits from a starry cast in the stagey story. Nighy and Bening are as good..
'Killer and Wild' removed from the Fajr Film Festival
A movie with Iranian actress Leila Hatami in the leading role was excluded from a major Film Festival event in Iran due to her 'shaved head and exposed ears' ..
'I WILL CROSS TOMORROW'
Maria is a Greek policewoman, struggling with her money problems, teenage daughter, old mother.. Yussof is a Syrian rebel, on his way out of a war-ridden Syria. Both have killed unwantedly, both feel guilty, but together..
51st Edition Of IFFI 2021
The 51st edition of India’s International Film Festival (IFFI) kick started on 16th January at Goa, which opened with the Indian premier of the movie ‘Another Round’ by Thomas Vinterberg..
'Alone' :: Movie Review
"Alone" is admirably straightforward, exploring tried-and-true archetypes with suspenseful execution. Director John Hyams demonstrates a minimalistic knack for showing and not telling,..
'The Female Voice of Iran' :: Feature documentary 2020
Independent documentary about female singers inside Iran and their deep wish: "I want my voice to be heard." Captivating...beautiful music and stunning..
'The Father' :: Movie Review
Sundance: Florian Zeller's film makes an inexplicably cruel element of the human condition recognizable in a way that only good art can. Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman Inside the Brutal Matrix of Dementia..
‘Money Heist’ :: As smart as it is relentless
Like a criminal who has trapped themselves within a situation in which there’s no simple escape, Money Heist is a riveting, inescapable show with a narrative jackpot at the end of it..
'Vivos' :: Ai Weiwei's Mournful Ode to the Disappeared
Vivos is a documentary feature film by artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei, portraying the human impact of Mexico’s ongoing crisis of enforced disappearances..
Family Romance, LLC (2020)
Love is a business at Family Romance, a company that rents human stand-ins for any occasion. Founder Yuichi Ishii helps make his clients’ dreams come true. But when the mother of 12-year-old Mahiro hires Ishii to..
'Let Him Go' (2020)
Kevin Costner excels in a gripping neo-western thriller. Let Him Go is a moving and gripping Western with particularly strong performances from Diane Lane as a grieving yet resolute mother and from Lesley Manville as her..
In Memoriam of Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk
In the small pool of filmmakers known for being provocative, Kim Ki-duk was the oddest of ducks. South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has died in Latvia aged 59 after contracting..
'The Life Ahead' (2020)
Loren has made it again! She's an absolute Goddess. The characters are colorful and empathetic, and even if the plot is simple, the cast keeps it up. Specially, Sophia Loren.. Sempre adorabile!
'What We Did on Our Holiday'
An exceedingly funny comedy that definitely borders on Black Comedy but still tinkers in the realm of being light hearted. It has a very kind of Outnumbered feel to it in which the kids play their innocence, yet brilliantly..
'Radiograph of a Family'
Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani triumphed at IDFA 2020 with her fourth film Radiograph of a Family, winning the main award in the IDFA Competition for Feature Length Documentary and the IDFA Competition for Creative Use of..
'Falling' :: Viggo Mortensen's Directorial Debut
A beautifully controlled drama about age, memory and forgiveness. Often abrasive, occasionally sweet, and sometimes grasping for transcendence, "Falling" doesn't feel like..
'Careless Crime' (2020) :: Movie Review
Iranian director Shahram Mokri, known for his single-shot films and his decided penchant for time-loops, achieves formalistic excellence in his latest effort..
Secrets of the Surface (2020)
Filmed in Canada, Iran, and the United States, 'Secrets of the Surface' examines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field..
'Another Round' :: Review
Thomas Vinterberg reteams with "The Hunt" star for a darkly comic referendum on booze. Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in..
'There Is No Evil' :: Premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Fest
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's 'There Is No Evil' has triumphed at the 70th Berlinale, picking up the Golden Bear. The director himself was not present..
'Tesla' :: Sundance Review
A fascinating, if unconventional, look at the singular life of Nikola Tesla as played by Ethan Hawke. Appropriately bold and ambitious, Tesla takes a number of risks that don't always pay off -- but Ethan Hawke's performance..
Documenting the Struggle for Women's Rights in Iran
One of the women featured in this short documentary, Nasrin Sotoudeh is now serving a decades-long sentence in Evin Prison in Iran. Released alongside Jeff Kaufman's..
'Bacurau' :: A John Carpenter-Inspired Revenge Fantasy
A settlement in rural Brazil, a doctor (played by a gaunt and fierce Sônia Braga), a school, a (disused) church, even a brothel, but no sheriff. Something strange is happening..
TALE OF THE SEA :: Film Review
One of Iran's major filmmakers is at the top of his game with this Ingmar Bergman-esque meditation on old age. One man's madness as a metaphor for the surreal lives of a whole nation..
'Ordinary Love' :: There is nothing Ordinary about Love
"Ordinary Love" is not a movie solely about cancer. It is a raw, on-screen adaptation of what hundreds of couples experience when their limits are tested - physically, mentally..
13th Annual Iranian Film Festival :: San Francisco
Call For Entries Open for the 13th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran..
'1982' :: Premiered at TIFF :: 2019
During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon at a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, 11-year-old Wissam tries to tell a classmate about his crush on her..
'The Perfect Candidate' :: Haifaa al-Mansour :: 2019
For Haifaa al-Mansour, it's an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by courageous women like her. A message movie admirable for its subtlety as well as its execution..
'The Truth :: La Vérité' :: 2019
At 76, Catherine Deneuve can still blow all-comers off a cinema screen, and she does exactly that in Hirokazu Kore-eda's Truth, which playfully explores the vexed relationship between..
'Paddleton' :: An Awkward Embrace With Fragile Masculinity
A drily ambling exploration of masculinity and overcoming self-imposed barriers. An unlikely bromance between two misfit neighbors..
'The Lunchbox (DABBA)' :: Cannes Review
Cinema loses giant Irrfan Khan to cancer and we take a look at the tenderness of his performance in The Lunchbox. It's carried off with charm and wit, and a pair of very..
'This Beautiful Fantastic' :: An Oddball Modern-Day Fairy Tale
A charming, beautifully photographed modern fairy tale about love and gardening, This Beautiful Fantastic is worth seeing in spite of its dumb deterrent of a title..
'Bombshell' :: #MeToo docudrama
Bombshell benefits from a terrific cast and a worthy subject, but its impact is muffled by a frustrating inability to go deeper than the sensationalistic surface..
'Just Mercy' :: Law Drama Inspired by True Events
Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy..
'Imitation of Life' :: A Melodramatic Torrent of Rage
Douglas Sirk unleashed a melodramatic torrent of rage at the corrupt core of American life - the unholy trinity of racism, commercialism, and puritanism..
'Adopt a Highway' :: Movie review
Logan Marshall-Green's directorial debut stars Ethan Hawke as a sweet ex-con who finds new purpose when he discovers a baby in a dumpster..
'Away':: A beautifully crafted minimalist adventure
Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis has written, animated, designed, edited, directed, and composed the music for his feature debut himself, with impressive results..
'Live Twice, Love Once' :: Movie review
An award-winner in Spain, 'Live Twice, Love Once' is a mature film that deals effectively with both family separation and reconciliation in sorrowful times..
A Writer Named Tove :: CPH:DOX 2020
A mosaic portrait of the Danish writer and poet Tove Ditlevsen. The self-confident and outspoken author, and the fragile woman behind the books..
'Arab Blues' :: An Entertaining Tunisian Culture-Clash Comedy
Mildly amusing froth, kept all the more buoyant by Farahani's deadpan reactions and immensely watchable face and fine comic..
'Donbass' :: Brutally powerful and brilliantly filmed
In its own absurdist way, it does shed some light on just what the war did to the lives - and sensibilities - of civilians caught up in the nightmare. It illustrates man's inhumanity..
The Flu That Killed 50 Million :: More Deadly Than War
In 1918, as the Armistice bells rang out across the world to celebrate the end of World War I, a silent killer made its way home with the soldiers - Spanish flu...
'Uzak' (Distant) :: The Art of Slow Cinema
Hauntingly beautiful, 'Distant' communicates volumes with its almost pervasive silence. Ceylan contrasts rich and poor, educated and uneducated. But the quest for love remains..
BERLINALE 2020 Awards :: Rasoulof's There Is No Evil triumphs at the Berlinale
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's 'There Is No Evil' has triumphed at the 70th Berlinale, picking up the Golden Bear..
'The Sea Inside' :: Bardem is simply astounding
If ever there was a film that deserved to get the proverbial bump from Oscar, this is it. Rarely has any film so focused on death felt so vibrantly alive..
'PARI' :: Review :: BERLINALE 2020 Panorama
The debut feature by Siamak Etemadi, world-premiered in the Panorama section of the 70th Berlinale, depicts an Iranian mother's compelling journey in a foreign place..
'Wildland' :: Interview :: World premiere at the Berlinale
In 'Wildland', we follow a small family clan where love and violence become dangerously merged. In the interview, they talk about how they created the narrative, how they use..
Berlinale 2020 :: 11 films to look out for
Screen Daily picks out just a few of the stand-out titles playing at the event, from across the Competition, Berlinale Special, and Panorama sections..
Mahnaz Afshar :: 'Die Hochzeit'
The Iranian superstar Mahnaz Afshar was at the world premiere of the new Til Schweiger film "Die Hochzeit". She flew to Berlin for Schweiger and experienced a free wedding ceremony on the red carpet..
'RAAZI' :: Movie Review
Despite its shortcomings, Raazi has a lot going for it, especially its leading lady. If you are willing to suspend your imagination a bit, it can make for a fulfilling watch. The story of a Kashmiri spy married to a Pakistani man..
'The Two Popes' :: Movie Review
Superbly acted and a lot of fun to watch. Can two Catholic men share the Papacy without driving each other crazy? The Two Popes is a wonderful showcase of great acting..
As Lean experienced Khomeini's Arrival
Lean Waage Beck tells about her experiences as a sister-in-law to the revolutionary Foreign Minister of Iran. About the Iranian Revolution, also described in her book "Tehran Round-Trip"..
'Pain and Glory' :: Movie Review
The Spanish filmmaker's tale of a memory, regret and an aging director making peace with his past isn't just his most personal film — it's also one of his greatest..
SUNDANCE 2020 :: Massoud Bakhshi :: Interview
Iranian filmmaker Massoud Bakhshi discusses Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness, a majority European production recognised in Sundance and on its way to the Berlinale..
Oscars 2020 :: 'Parasite' wins in four categories
For the first time in history of the Oscars Parasite, an international film, Wins in four categories. Parasite, a South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho..
SUNDANCE 2020 :: 'Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness'
The future of a young woman facing retributive justice plays out live on the country's most popular reality show..
'Reaching for the Moon' :: 'The art of losing isn't hard to master'
An exotic love story becomes an empowering portrait of two highly gifted women who defy social convention. The life of American Poet..
'Things to Come' :: A Rare, Mature film of Ideas
Visually arresting, but never precious, it's filled with ideas that have relevance to actual life, ideas that are based on a moral conviction that a question well-posed is far more..
'Madame' :: A cute inversion of the Cinderella tale
Madame's retrograde trappings are further weighted down by unlikable characters and an overall inability to do justice to its themes. Rossy de Palma, a past muse of Spanish..
Welcome to Online Film Home! The place for all film lovers.
Radiograph of a Family

Radiograph of a Family
I can't go back to Classic Docs anymore


By Vladan Petkovic, IDFA
November 25, 2020

Taskovski Films brings Norway’s Radiograph of a Family to IDFA

Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani triumphed at IDFA 2020 with her fourth film Radiograph of a Family, winning the main award in the IDFA Competition for Feature Length Documentary and the IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive.


After the film's world premiere on November 24, the director had a Filmmaker Talk with critic and curator Pamela Cohn.

Cohn started the Filmmaker Talk by showing a clip from this film, in which we see window shop mannequins being mutilated (i.e. a worker uses a saw to remove the breasts) as they become unsuitable for society after the Revolution.



“Mother married a photo of Father,” says director Firouzeh Khosrovani in the opening of this deeply personal documentary. She’s not speaking metaphorically though. Her mother Tayi literally married a portrait of Hossein in Teheran—he was in Switzerland studying radiology and was unable to travel back to his homeland for the wedding.

The event illustrates the abyss that still exists in their marriage: Hossein is a secular progressive and Tayi a devout, traditional Muslim. But this family history is also a sort of x-ray, laying bare the conflicts of Iranian society in the run-up to, and aftermath of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Besides Khosrovani’s commentary, we hear letters being read aloud and recollections of conversations between her parents. At the same time, we see photographs and videos from the family archive. These fragments of intimacy are interspersed with stylized shots of the filmmaker’s parental home, its altering decor and furnishings subtly reflecting each new phase in her parents’ conjugal life—and in Iranian society.

Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani triumphed at IDFA 2020 with her fourth film Radiograph of a Family, winning the main award in the IDFA Competition for Feature Length Documentary and the IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive. After the film's world premiere on November 24, the director had a Filmmaker Talk with critic and curator Pamela Cohn.



Introducing Khosrovani, Cohn said that in her work she focuses on life in modern-day Iran, with an emphasis on the female experience. This is very much the case with her latest film, in which she looks back at the dichotomy within her family, with a religious mother and a secular father. Using a wealth of archive footage and fictionalized dialogues between her parents, Khosrovani presents a chronicle of the family against the background of political changes in Iran, with the 1979 Islamic Revolution at its center.

Themes that persist in the director's work

But all these themes were there in Khosrovani's work since her first short documentary Rough Cut from 2008. Cohn started the Filmmaker Talk by showing a clip from this film, in which we see window shop mannequins being mutilated (i.e. a worker uses a saw to remove the breasts) as they become unsuitable for society after the Revolution.

"The grotesque story of mutilated female mannequins was like a metaphor manufactured to minimize female characteristics. This was the core idea to do this film," said Khosrovani.

"When I noticed for the first time in shop windows in Tehran these amputated mannequin bodies, I thought it was a metaphor for veiled bodies of Iranian women. It was bizarre and at the same time artistically very interesting, kind of a Buñuelian image of cutting the breasts."

The main challenge

In her 2014 film Fest of Duty, Khosrovani tells a story that mirrors the one in her latest film. She films two seven-year-old girls who are cousins and best friends, and then comes back eight years later to find them very distanced from each other. One girl's family is secular, and the other's is religious. It transpires that this is the reason they fell apart. The filmmaker was inspired to tell this story as she was curious about a custom that was strange to her.

"It was interesting because this celebration of coming of age in schools for nine-year-old girls was something that we didn't have in my time," Khosrovani recalled. "It was a new invention of the Islamic Republic for the schools. I saw some clips of it and I thought it's interesting how they celebrate the transition into adulthood for religious duties. When you get to the age of nine, you have to fulfill all the religious duties and responsibilities of an adult woman.

"I was thinking it's very early for a little girl, as her body is still not a woman's body. Then I did an interview with girls aged nine and I collected them, but I thought it wasn't not enough to make a film. So with the passing of time, when they became teenagers, I went back to them and did a casting. I chose two girls who are cousins in two different families, very symbolically, like two poles of the Iranian society.

"Somehow in all my films it's about the idea of the relationship between power and an individual, religion and the individual, censorship and self-censorship. This is my main challenge. The same thing happens in Radiograph of a Family."

Torn between two realities

This was cue for Cohn to move the conversation to Khosrovani's new film.

"Your parents really began their life outside of Iran. Your father was training in Europe as a radiologist, and embracing the more Western, secular way of living and realized what the joys are of that," she said. "You made a stylistic jump here and re-created this world of your parents through a very fragile process. And memory is always tricky."

Khosrovani replied: "It's based on my childhood memories. My mother went through the family albums and she ripped out all the images she thought were inappropriate after the Revolution, and that's where the core concept comes from: torn-up pictures, a torn-up family.

"And then some connected ideas came to my mind: my mother's scoliosis, my radiologist father, X-ray as a metaphor of scanning the body, scanning a home, scanning history... It's an assemblage of all these axes that I put into the storytelling in the narrative about dichotomy within a family. I was torn between the two realities, the two poles. I wanted to show that the ideology of Islamic Law was reflected inside our home and affected every corner of our domestic life. So the Revolution took place in our home, as a metaphor."

Revolution as the main turning point

In order to show how this, Khosrovani had a house set built, and used it to depict the passage of time along with ideological changes that came with the Revolution.

"I designed these scenes in order to create a narrative space as a container of the film," she said. "It was very time-consuming to stage everything and choose objects that are meaningful and do something with them—eliminate some of them, replace some of them, take down a new painting from the wall when Islamic Law entered the home, and change the interior of the house.

"The camera acts like a radiology machine: it's scanning inside the home. We have two opposite sides of the home that I dedicated to Father and Mother. Before the Revolution, the camera movement is from Father's side to Mother's. It's Father's gaze. After the Revolution, it's from the opposite side. First it's Father's turn and then Mother's turn, and it's very symmetrical in the structure of the film.

"I put the Revolution in the exact middle of the timeline: it's the main turning point, the point of no return, and there are symmetrical things on both sides, between the first half and the second half. It was a very crafted film. Everything is calculated on paper, so in a way, the narrative is engineered."

Cohn next asked the director how old she was when she understood this division. She was very close to her father and perhaps it was already clear back then that she would pick his secular path.

Khosrovani replied: "I was seven when the Revolution happened, and I wanted to stay that age in the film. I wanted to not grow up and to stay in the better times of before the Revolution, where all my sweet childhood memories are. So this was something that I wanted to be unrealistic in the film: to have this fantasy that Firouzeh remains the same age the whole time.

"It was clear I was very close to my father's values, and my mother didn't impose her religious concern on me. She didn't force me to wear the hijab. She didn't want to instill her beliefs in her daughter."

Fictionalized dialogues

Cohn found this interesting and a little surprising. She followed by asking Firouzeh about her work on the fictionalized dialogues between her parents.

"I considered many different options for the voiceover in the film," she recalled. "It thought it would have been simpler if it was based on the voiceover of a narrator. But I was the narrator, and I was born in the middle of the film, so it would have been difficult.

"I wanted to have real time and not flashbacks, so the idea of fictionalized dialogues came to my mind. I tried to write the dialogues, to put words in the mouths of my parents. It was a very difficult, very interesting, and very challenging process.

"Some things were based on my memories. Some other situations I invented based on found footage that I had from that time—Super 8 footage from Switzerland or Iran. Sometimes I was writing the dialogues and looking for images, pictures, or archive footage, and sometimes it was vice-versa, I'd find good images and try to write dialogues for them. It was two years of preparations for the film, writing the dialogues and creating the images."

Super 8 has the texture of memories

Cohn asked about finding the archive footage: where did this journey take Khosrovani?

"I had enormous amounts of good material and it was very difficult to select," she replied. "It was a kind of an elimination process. I always had to put aside many good things to minimalize the film, to not have a very talkative film—I wanted the images to talk.

"It was a very long search for official and unofficial footage, both from Swiss and Iranian televisions; some are home videos on Super 8 that I got from my family and friends. Also for the revolution, the demonstrations, I was trying to find something not seen, not really used on television. I was looking for personal footage of the people at the time during 1970s and 1980s, and it was all on Super 8. Super 8 has the texture of memories.

"I loved working with Super 8 images—it was really inspiring to me. Also all the out-of-focus, not very good and clean images. It's really the texture of your memories. It put me in a good space in my head for my writing."

Cohn continued from there: "If you were so inspired by the way this footage could set your imagination free, do you think you will pursue it in the future as well?"

Khosrovani replied: "I really wanted to have this combination of reality and fantasy in this film, and not to be worrying about the genre, about fiction and non-fiction. I think I will follow this way of storytelling in my next films, Inshallah," she chuckled.

"I really enjoyed the work of writing the dialogues. This kind of creates a new reality that is the reality of the film, because there are some things I manipulated in the second half: the absence of Father is more obvious. And at the end of the film, we are suddenly in real time. After this playing with time, with fantasy and with imagination, I think that I can't go back to classic documentaries anymore."



Radiograph of a Family (2020)

Credits

82 min - color - DCP - Spoken languages: Farsi, French - Subtitles in: English

Director: Firouzeh Khosrovani
Production: Fabien Olivier Greenberg for Antipode Films, Bård Kjøge Rønning for Antipode Films
Co-production: Rainy Pictures , Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, Storyline studios
Cinematography: Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah
Editing: Farahnaz Sharifi, Jila Ipakchi, Rainer M. Trinkler



Night Train To Lisbon
Annette Focks


Search


Search Online Film Home:

fa en



Choose an item to go there!


Links


Home
Archived news
OFH Bright version
Iran news

Find a birthday!


 

 


Home | Film News | Directors Search | Find birthdays! | Persian Weblog | Contact

Copyright 2001 Online Film Home Communications