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Khake sar beh mohr

The Sealed Soil
Film still from THE SEALED SOIL. A young woman with long hair sits in a room with half-closed eyes.

Sat 10.12.

  • Director

    Marva Nabili

  • Iran / 1976
    90 min. / 16 mm / Original version with English subtitles

  • Collection print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive

  • Cinema

    Arsenal 1

    zu den Ticketszu dem Kalender
  • Zu Gast: Marva Nabili

18-year-old Rooy lives in the country and is supposed to be married off, although she’s already rejected several possible candidates, with her quiet, yet stubborn resistance disturbing her surroundings. Despite the insistence on old traditions, traditional village life is still subject to change, however. A modern settlement being built on the other side of the road heralds new possibilities. In deliberately pared-down fashion, with sparing use of dialogue, long, static shots and precise, distanced images, Nabili conveys the monotony and lack of alternatives in the life of her protagonist as well as her attempts to gain independence.  
“I tried to make use of Brecht’s concept of the alienation effect in purely cinematic fashion and not just to transpose the theatre version of his methods into the film. To achieve this cinematic form, I used the aesthetic of Persian miniature painting.” (Marva Nabili)
THE SEALED SOIL was shot with a small crew and non-professional actors in a village in the south of Iran. Nabili took the negative of the rough cut in a suitcase to the US, where she completed the film. To this day, the film has never been screened in Iran.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur