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Modest Reception (2012)

Mani Haghighi, Iran

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Leyla and Kaveh are the instruments of a cruel and bizarre game. The well-situated couple drive through the mountains distributing plastic bags full of money to every poor and unfortunate person they meet. At first everything goes according to plan as they disdainfully "share the joy" with their shocked "neighbors" while documenting the event via cellphone. They encounter those, however, who refuse the strange gift - and others who end up offending the irresponsible strangers. Gradually, the amoral game (part of which involves inventing a vast array of stories) begins to turn against the cynical manipulators.... This darkly comic parable seeks to critique modern society’s penchant for squandering resources, energy, and emotions in artificially constructed pranks. The dramatically terse, minimalistic narrative is intensified by the lead actors’ restrained performances, and by the gorgeous natural backdrop where the film plays out over the course of 24 hours. The picture took the NETPAC Prize at the Berlinale 2012 for Best Asian movie.

Duration
100 minutes
Language
OV Farsi
Subtitles
english, german, french
Video Quality
720p
Available in
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein
Mani Haghighi
A Dragon Arrives! (2016)
Mani Haghighi
Iran
108′
An orange Chevrolet Impala drives across a cemetery towards an abandoned shipwreck in the middle of a desert landscape. It is the 22nd of January, 1965. The day before, the Iranian prime minister was shot dead in front of the parliament building. Inside the wreck, a banished political prisoner has hung himself. The walls are covered in diary entries, literary quotes and strange symbols. Can they help Police Inspector Babak Hafizi in his investigations? Will they shed any light on why there is always an earthquake whenever somebody is buried in this desert cemetery? Assisted by a sound engineer and a geologist, Hafizi begins his investigations on the ancient island of Qeshm in the Persian Gulf. Fifty years later, their entire evidence, along with intelligence tape recordings, are found in a box, the contents of which attest to the fact that the inspector and his colleagues were arrested. But why? In his new film, Mani Haghighi once again creates a grotesquely absurd experimental set-up. His playful reenactment of mysterious events revolves around a real-life episode - but also imagines a truth of its own.
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