EXODUS

Three mil­lion Afghan refugees live in Iran, often facing dis­crim­i­na­tion and endur­ing mostly pre­car­i­ous con­di­tions. Since the tight­en­ing of U.S. sanc­tions and the result­ing infla­tion, thou­sands of refugees are return­ing to Afghanistan every day. The Imam Reza Depor­ta­tion Center in Tehran over­sees the depar­tures, takes pho­tographs, and records fin­ger­prints. The migrants are asked sur­pris­ing­ly per­son­al ques­tions about every­thing from reli­gion to drugs to family mat­ters. Bahman Kiarosta­mi focuss­es on the sit­u­a­tion at the desks and the inter­views pro­ceed­ing at times with a mil­i­tary sharp­ness but mostly with prag­mat­ic com­po­sure and unex­pect­ed open­ness. Like a cham­ber play and with­out leav­ing the site, EXODUS reveals a piece of migrant life in Iran, while also taking a first look at the return home across the border.

Bahman Kiarosta­mi, born 1978 in Tehran as son of the promi­nent direc­tor Abbas Kiarosta­mi. He works as a doc­u­men­tary film direc­tor, editor and cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er. He made his first doc­u­men­tary MORTEZA MOMAYEZ: FATHER OF IRANIAN CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC DESIGN in 1996. Most of his films focus on valu­ing and legit­imiz­ing process­es in art, but also cover the vis­i­ble yet obscured and unno­ticed details which define Iran’s post rev­o­lu­tion­ary visual cul­ture. His fil­mog­ra­phy includes MONIR (2014), TAXI-TEHRAN (2011, R: Jafar Panahi), RE-ENACTMENT (2006), PILGRIMAGE (2004), INFIDELS (2004) a.o.. He worked as an editor also for two fea­ture films of his father (CERTIFIED COPY, 2010; LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE, 2012).

Direc­tor, edit­ing: Bahman Kiarostami
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: Davood Maleki
Sound: Amirhos­sein Ghassemi

Con­tact: bkiarostami@gmail.com

KAR O KAR - Work and Work

The sen­si­tive por­trait of an old mar­ried couple.They are talk­ing about their life and work: pro­duc­ing car­pets. A two-part film on the tra­di­tions around carpet-making in the Zand­jan province of Iran. Ways of work­ing, rhythms of life: in the vil­lage, we see the pre­cise ges­tures of an old blind woman weav­ing the Djad­jim. In town, we are shown the Ghavam zadan ritual, the game reserved for the carpet sell­ers where luck and money come into play. 

My Mothers House, the Lagoon

In a house on a river, a women lives with her mother. From pho­tographs on the wall, her deceased hus­band and father look down on her daily drudgery and toil. Com­plete­ly con­trary to what tra­di­tion pre­scribes, the woman is forced to earn money to take care of her­self and her aging mother. It is a tough life. Every day, she gets up before day­break to go fish­ing in a small rowing boat. She tries to sell her meagre catch at the local market, which is not easy. But the woman is not easily dis­cour­aged. Although she often has argu­ments with the other market deal­ers and fish­er­men. Back home, her mother patient­ly waits for her daugh­ter to return, get her out of bed and take care of her. 

The Song of Nimevar

The old man who is in charge of dis­trib­ut­ing water from the Nimevar Chan­nel to the inhab­i­tants, breaks down »Barema« dam each year to direct water to the river. The Chan­nel is well pre­pared for annual dredg­ing and the men gather from Nimevar and Bagher­abad vil­lages with their shov­els to do this hard task. At the end of dredg­ing, the old man is seated on the horse wear­ing a hat and army medals. He salutes the vil­lagers as they parade before him. This is the begin­ning of a feast at the end of dredg­ing. The annual feast is fin­ished with tra­di­tion­al cer­e­mo­ny of pass­ing the shov­els over the head. After the feast, some of the vil­lagers direct the water to the Chan­nel once again voluntarily. 

The Ferry

A »dubee« is a wide boat used to trans­port pas­sen­gers between the two banks of the River Karun in south­ern Iran. The river cur­rent is the only source of energy and the boat is steered using a simple rudder. A small boy has to nav­i­gate across the river for the first time. 

At the School of Seyed Ghelish Ishan

Untouched by the temp­ta­tions of the modern world, the Seyed Ghe­l­ish Ishan Sem­i­nary, found­ed 200 years ago, stands as a time­less fortress in the quiet land­scape of Turk­men Sahra. Young boys still come to the school to be ini­ti­at­ed and study the scrip­tures. In this film, sev­er­al of the young pupils find an outlet for their phys­i­cal energy on their way home. 

Fellow Citizen

Caught up in the insane bot­tle­necks of Teheran, a traf­fic cop tries to enforce a pro­hi­bi­tion. Having done this, he then pro­ceeds to demon­strate the flex­i­bil­i­ty of the law and the flex­i­bil­i­ty of the traf­fic cop. Kiarosta­mi, who him­self was a traf­fic cop in his youth, exploits the comic pos­si­bil­i­ties of this situation. 

Oh Protector of the Gazelle

The film describes the ritual of vis­it­ing the shrine of »Imam Reza«, the eighth Shiite Imam, in the holy city of Mashad, and the Bunuel-like behav­iour of the pilgrims.

Bab-e Jenn

In south­ern Iran, and espe­cial­ly in the ports of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Lengee, an ancient belief has it that the Djinn wind affects people by scat­ter­ing them all over the world and caus­ing a great many of them to emi­grate. There are spe­cial rit­u­als to remove the spell from the vic­tims of this phenomenon.