Thu 22 Apr 21 - Fri 30 Apr 21

The Wasteland

Ahmad Bahrami

Shot in black-and-white, The Wasteland tells the story of the 40-year-old supervisor at a mudbrick factory in Iran who gets trapped between his boss who wants to shut down the factory, and his colleagues who distrust him more and more.

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The Wasteland, Ahmad Bahrami’s second film, is an incisive look at life on the outskirts of Iranian society. In a far-away mudbrick factory they still make bricks the traditional way.

The film is essentially split up into two parts; its turning point is the speech by the factory’s owner to his workers about closing the factory. We see this speech five times throughout the first half of the film, a small part added with every iteration, until we get to the full version roughly around the midway point. While he speaks the camera glides over the faces of the workers to find focus on a different one each time, segueing into their separate stories. The 40-year-old Lotfollah, who was born at the factory and never left, is the supervisor and acts as the middleman between the workers and the boss. During the talk, the workers explain their problems to the boss, and he promises to take care of them. They all warn him about Lotfollah and how he favours Sarvar, with whom he is in love, taking her to the road to town on Thursdays while the boss is away.

The second half of the film deals with the aftermath of the speech and focuses heavily on Lotfollah. As his co-workers scatter to the wind he takes care of collecting final timesheets and finishing the last batches of bricks. Only Sarvar lingers, but even she eventually leaves with the boss, and Lotfollah is alone in the only world he has ever known. He doesn’t know anything other than making bricks, so what will he do with his life now?

The impressive finale of this film will move all.

direction
Ahmad Bahrami
cast
Touraj Alvand, Ali Bagheri, Majid Farhang, Mahdie Nassaj
duration
102 min
year
2020
country
Iran
language
Persian, Turkish, Kurdish
Subtitles
Dutch, English

#Iran #drama #zwartwit #arbeidsverhoudingen

‘The Wasteland bewijst opnieuw dat de Iraanse cinema springlevend en boeiend is…..’.

https://www.arthousestreet.com/blog/the-wasteland

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