“A cinema lesson!”- El Mundo ( The Spanish Daily)
“Full of emotional confrontations and on-the-money acting…”- Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
Sunday, March 20
12:00 PM | Melwood Screening Room
+ Skype session with Director Rakhshan Banietemad
+ Halva & Tea refreshments
Presented in conjunction with:
+ Conflict Kitchen
Ending an eight-year hiatus from narrative feature filmmaking, award-winning Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Banietemad returns with Tales, which weaves the stories of seven characters linked by shared struggles — social, economic, and political — into a film that is both a microcosm of Iranian working-class society and an incisive, luminous portrait of human fallibility and virtue in the face of everyday challenges.
With graceful narrative finesse, Banietemad and her co-screenwriter Farid Mostafavi give the impression that they are casually eavesdropping on lives. From Abbas, a cabbie working the night shift as a means to support his family after bungling a drug deal; to the elderly Mrs. Touba, fighting to have her son released from jail after a politically motivated arrest; to Reza, a middle-aged factory worker whose illiteracy becomes a source of impetuous jealousy when his wife receives a letter from her ex-husband; to Nargess, a social worker and former drug addict whose violent, estranged addict husband comes after her with malice in mind — Tales observes its assorted protagonists with a rare and perfectly calibrated balance of objectivity and compassion..
Rakhshan Banietemad was born in Tehran in 1954. After studying at the University of Dramatic Arts in Iran, she made several documentaries for Iranian television. In 1987, she directed her first feature film "Off Limits", and in 1991 she became the first woman recipient of the best director award at Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran for "Nargess". In 1995 she won the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival for "The Blue Veiled". Her next film "Under the Skin of the City" was the highest grossing film in Iran in 2000 and garnered major awards at Moscow, Turin, Karlovy Vary and Seattle film festivals. Then she made "Gilaneh" in 2005 which was more than 49 festivals including Tribeca, Toronto, Pusan … and won many awards.
Banietemad's previous features, "Mainline", also won numerous domestic awards together with the best director award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. In 2008, she received an honorary doctorate from London University. Most recently, Banietemad was awarded the 2010 Prix Henri Langlois from the Vincennes International Film Festival. She is the most popular director among Iranians.