Since 1979, Iranian filmmakers have been prohibited from depicting men and women touching on screen. Since then, directors have relied on cinematic tricks to represent intimate moments and powerful emotions. Nazarbazi collages these moments into a powerful poem about love and desire.
Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Iran, United States 83 minutes
Radical tools are at play in this daring collection of shorts that take viewers on an experience like no other. Featuring works by Crystal Z Campbell, Jeppe Lange, María Silvia Esteve, Marayam Tafakory, and Maxime Jean-Baptiste.
An archive of pareidolia, a condition in which someone sees a pattern or image of something that does not exist, is narrated by a descendent of exodusters in Revolver (US). Abyss (Denmark) is a chain of 10,000 images found through Google’s reverse image search. A primal chaos takes place as artificial consciousness is formed. The Spiral (Argentina) chronicles a woman’s downward spiral as an anxiety attack discloses a complex labyrinth of emotions and fears. Since 1979, Iranian filmmakers have been prohibited from depicting men and women touching on screen. Since then, directors have relied on cinematic tricks to represent intimate moments and powerful emotions. Nazarbazi (Iran) collages these moments into a powerful poem about love and desire. Moune Ô (Belgium) repurposes footage from a film premiere’s party to reveal the survival of colonial inheritance within the western collective unconscious.
Note: The film Nazarbazi is not available as part of the streaming program.
Screenings & Events
Tue, Oct 18 @ 6:00pm CDT
at AMC River East, Screen 20
Available to stream Oct 13 @ 12:00pm CT through Oct 23 @ 11:59pm CT for a 48-hour watch window. Available to stream anywhere in the United States.
Playful, powerful, and narratively beguiling, No Bears finds master director Jara Panahi in top form. Starring as a fictionalized version of himself, the filmmaker, who has been barred from leaving Iran, relocates to a remote village to supervise a production taking place just across the border in Turkey. Initially enchanted by his celebrity, the local townspeople grow suspicious of him and his camera. The film within the film, about two lovers attempting to flee Iran, begins to mirror events in the director’s own life as reality becomes increasingly destabilized and the parallel narratives meld into one. The resulting experience is an unforgettable meta-textual reflection on the nature of freedom, oppression, authority, and cinema itself.
Azeri, Farsi, Turkish with subtitles
Screenings & Events
Mon, Oct 17 @ 8:15pm CDT
at Gene Siskel Film Center
Thu, Oct 20 @ 8:30pm CDT
at AMC River East, Screen 11
Jafar Panahi, Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobaseri, Bakhtiar Panjei, Mina Kavani, Reza Heydari
Available to stream Oct 14-25 in the Midwestern United States
(Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri).
Golden Bear, Berlin Film Festival
Four thematically connected, meticulously constructed stories follow characters whose decisions to carry out executions (or not) have life- and soul-altering consequences. Devoted family man Heshmat cares for his aging mother, wife, and daughter—but where does he go every morning before dawn? Young soldier Pouya, who has been assigned to the prison death penalty unit, will do anything to escape his military duty. Javad gets a short leave to surprise his beloved Nana on her birthday—but when he arrives, he receives an even bigger shock. Bahram must explain to his niece why he has abandoned his medical career to live as a beekeeper. At once sobering and heady, Mohammad Rasoulof’s brilliant anthology film offers a humanistic reflection on the exacting social, psychological, and emotional toll of taking another’s life.
A group of four men in modern-day Iran plot to burn down a movie theater, an act that replicates a historical tragedy that occurred 40 years prior, as society was teetering on revolution. The cinema in their crosshairs is premiering a film about an unexploded missile—a crowd gathers outside the theater in anticipation. Past and present, fact and fiction merge as the world begins to bend toward surreality. Featuring accomplished performances from a stellar ensemble cast and deftly juggling seemingly disparate narrative threads, Careless Crime pieces together a bracing reflection on cinema and its significance in Iranian life.
“Time doesn’t just shift in Shahram Mokri’s Iranian drama about a fire at a cinema that killed 478, it also folds like origami and pirouettes, the past and present so close as they dance they can feel each other’s breath.”
-Eye for Film UK
Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. We serve Chicago’s diverse and under-served citizenry by providing access to world-class cinema. We aim to enrich Chicago’s cultural environment by presenting film in contexts that encourage discussion and debate.