Cannes 2022 Two Iranian and Iranian- Danish films in the main section of Cannes Film Festival
by: Farid Wahhabi, RFI Published on 15/04/2022
The 75th Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 17 to 28. Since the year 2020 when the festival was practically closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and since 2021 when the festival was moved to mid-summer, this year, this prestigious international film festival returns to the southern coast of France in the spring. But about a month before the festival begins, the chairman of the jury has not yet been elected.
According to tradition, almost a month before the Cannes Film Festival, Mr. Thierry Fremaux, the festival's artistic director, explained the highlights of this year's program at a press conference and presented the full list of participating films to the media.
This year, 18 films will participate in the main section (competition), including two Persian-language films. 'Holy Spider' is Ali Abbasi's latest film after his Cannes-winning Swedish feature film 'Border'. That was four years ago, Ali Abbasi appeared in the "Un Certain Regard" section of the Cannes Film Festival and won an award for his "Border". This film was made in Sweden.
Ali Abbasi, 41, was born in Tehran, has been introduced as an Iranian-Danish filmmaker. But some sources introduce him as Iranian-Swedish. He went to Sweden to study architecture after studying at Tehran Polytechnic, but apparently continued his film career in Denmark. The story of "Holy Spider" is inspired by the character of Saeed Hanaei, the serial killer of Mashhad, who was called "Spider Killer" years ago. Hanaei was executed in 1982. There was previously made a feature film about him in Iran called "Spider" and a documentary " And the Spider Came".
In Ali Abbasi's 'Holy Spider' selected for Competition, we follow a serial killer in Iran. Photo: Nadim Carlsen
The film, exclusively in Persian, stars Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, who left Iran more than 15 years ago, Mehdi Bajestani, Arash Ashtiani, Forouzan Jamshidnejad, Alice Rahimi, Sara Fazilat and Sina Parvaneh. A Danish and a German company has been named as the film's producers.
Iranian-born Ali Abbasi, who graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2011, had his feature film debut with the Danish-produced thriller 'Shelley', selected for Berlinale. He wrote the script for 'Holy Spider' with Afshin Kamran Bahrami.
It is produced by Jacob Jarek for Profile Pictures in co-production with German One Two Films by Sol Bondy and with support from the Danish Film Institute.
Saeed Poursamimi in Leila's Brothers
- The film "Leila's Brothers", made by Saeed Roustayi, is entirely Iranian. The 32-year-old Roustayi has attracted a lot of attention so far, especially with his "Life and a Day" and "Just 6.5". These two films were very successful abroad. Saeed Roustayi has preferred not to comment on his new film, but given the previous two films, it is unlikely that "Leila's Brothers" would continue the same bitter and pessimistic view of the social situation in Iran.
Russian Helmer Kirill Serebrennikov Sets Off 'Tchaikovsky's Wife' - Variety
This year's competition features the names of several great filmmakers: David Cronenberg (Canada), the Belgian brothers Darden, James Gray (United States) and Srebrenikov (Russia), who will most likely be in Cannes in person this time.
Srebrenikov's situation in Russia was somewhat comparable to that of Jafar panahi in Iran. In previous years, two of his films participated in the Cannes competition, but he was not allowed to leave the country. But eventually, with the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Srebrenikov left his country for Europe. His new film is called "Tchaikovsky's Wife" and is about the wife of the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who cannot accept his unconventional orientation and, as a result, she gradually loses her mind.
Jafar Pahani (left) and Kirill Serebrenikov are both banned (Picture: Getty)
“All the people I will never be” or “Retor à Seoul” – Davy Cho (Cambodia) “Beast” – Riley Cue and Gina Gammel (EEUU.) “Burning Day” – Ayman Alpar (Turkey) “Butterfly Vision” – Maxim Nakunicheni (Ukraine) “Corsage” – Marie Kruetzer (Austria) “Domingo and the Must” – Ariel Escalante Meza (Costa Rica) “Joyland” – Saeem Sadiq (Pakistan) “Metronome” – Alexandro Belk (Romania) “Plan 75” – Hayakawa Chie (Japan) “Rodeo” – Lola Quiron (France) “Self-ill” – Christopher Burgley “Silent Twins” – Agnieszka Samosinska (Polonia) “Stranger” – Thomas M. Wright “Volada Land” – Helenor Palmason (Island) “Worst” or “Les Piers” – Liz Accura and the romantic Garrett (France)
Nos frangins - Rachid Bouchareb Esterno notte - Marco Bellocchio Dodo - Panos H. Koutras Irma Vep - Olivier Assayas (series)
Out of Competition
Z (Comme Z) - Michel Hazanavicius (France) (opening film) Top Gun: Maverick - Joseph Kosinski (USA) Elvis - Baz Luhrmann (USA) Novembre - Cédric Jimenez (France) Three Thousand Years of Longing - George Miller Mascarade - Nicolas Bedos (France)
Hunt - Lee Jung- Jae Moonage Daydream - Brett Morgen Fumer fait tousser - Quentin Dupieux (France)
All That Breathes - Shaunak Sen (India/UK) The Natural History of Destruction - Sergei Loznitsa Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind - Ethan Coen (USA)