Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran, 2009
In this dreamlike yet earthbound film, Rahmat the boatman navigates the increasingly brackish waters of a coastal land, collecting the heartaches and tears of its inhabitants. But he remains powerless against their misguided attempts to appease the gods and make the land green again, whether by offering a bride to the sea or forcibly “treating” the eyes of a painter who sees in different colors. Drawing firsthand on the challenges faced by Iranian artists of today, writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof’s deeply atmospheric and poetical film is a gorgeous allegory of intolerance, brutality and mystified routine that resonates far beyond any one state’s borders.
Part of the Global Lens 2011 film series, presented by the Global Film Initiative. For more information, visit globalfilm.org .