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A man with his arm in a cast who thus resembles Napoleon and a well-dressed woman are making their way through a war-torn mountainous region in an SUV. The boot of the car contains plastic bags filled with money to distribute to the needy people they encounter on their journey. But are the two of them really on a charitable mission or are we watching a duplicitous game of temptation and morality? Mani Haghighi’s previous film MEN AT WORK (Forum 2006) already took the standard social criticism to be found in Iranian cinema into the realm of the absurd. PAZIRAIE SADEH is a film both farcical and full of anger that continues in this Beckettian vein. Its desolate location seems to have come from another world, peopled by characters that appear either uprooted or merely passing through. The apparent benefactors always attach sadistic conditions to their handouts, making one poor man swear on the Koran that he won’t share the money with his equally poor relatives and preventing another from burying his baby’s corpse. But even as they humiliate their victims and play their funny games, reality turns out to be a highly adept opponent, more than capable of stifling their sardonic laughter. (Anke Leweke)

Production: Mani Haghighi
Screenplay: Mani Haghighi, Amir-Reza Koohestani
Camera: Houman Behmanesh
Cast: Taraneh Alidoosti, Mani Haghighi, Saeed Changizian, Esmail Khalaj, Saber Abar
Format: 35 mm, colour
Running time: 100 min
Language: Farsi

Photo: © Abbas Kosari

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