Reza Farahmand, Iran, 2017, 77'
International Premiere
Wed. 8.8.2018, 11h00, La Sala
Thu. 9.8.2018, 18h30, L'altra Sala

en / it / de / fr

There are many ways of portraying a war with a film camera. But it is always about fighting with the hurdle to show what must be shown and tell what the parties involved would prefer to remain untold. And about fighting the claim to supply understandable, truthful and even innovative interpretations to those who, thousands of miles away, only learn about the facts on the cinema screen. Iranian Reza Farah, who is a trained agronomist with great narrator talents, used to describe the world through children living in the diaspora, from Myanmar to India or fleeing from Syria to Europe via Turkey. In his new work, which has already received an award in his country, he chose a resolutely new perspective: that of mothers.

Why not examine the motivations of the many young people who want to sacrifice themselves for the Islamic state and its ideals? And examine these motivations at the roots, where they grow up: in the family, in the children's everyday life with their mothers? Not so easy a task since this everyday life takes place in harsh and fiercely contested regions. To do so, Farahmand joined the galleon figure Noor Al Helli, a mother and journalist, an embedded reporter as it is called in journalism, a woman who has made a name for herself because of her insistent confrontation with fighters and her resolve to never accept no as an answer. She would like to understand. To do so, she must see for herself and encounter people without staying in the background. To explain ISIS, she must speak with ISIS. Not necessarily with the fighters themselves, but with the inhabitants of the newly liberated villages, especially with mothers and children. This method is as informative as it is exciting for the spectators. It is certainly not a question of releasing the disciples of the Islamic State from their responsibility. It is a question of giving the people who live there a humane face, something that should also stir our conscience. Naturally, the film also moves along a fine line regarding voyeurism, a necessary but questionable effect produced by every camera in a war zone. In this sense, the tragic ending raises additional questions that may trigger contrasting views.

Marco Zucchi