Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival
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Majed Neisi

2016 / Iran / 39 min

i Saturday 25 March 21H00 Luminor
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English

Shown with :
Chaque mur est une porte by Elitza Gueorguieva
i Monday 27 March 17H00 Centre Wallonie Bruxelles
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English + DEBATE

Shown with :
Chaque mur est une porte by Elitza Gueorguieva
i Thursday 30 March 13H50 Cinéma 1
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English + DEBATE

Shown with :
Chaque mur est une porte by Elitza Gueorguieva

In Khorramshahr, an Iranian city on the Iraqi border occupied by Iraq for two years, an Iranian photographer and an Iraqi army cameraman meet up thirty-seven years after the outbreak of war between their two countries. Their dialogue – in which each speaks his own language – seems both perilous and necessary, and the others present lend a cautious ear or venture to tell their own story of war and occupation. Fortunately, there is no attempt to “objectively” recreate two testimonies that mirror each other. Instead, the camera follows the way in which words spread their seeds, words made up of today’s feelings and the fragmentary, often highly visual memories of these two professionals of the image. It is Qassem, the Iraqi, who highlights the reversibility of the antagonism: “Even the mosque was bombed. I said to myself: ‘What if it had been us?’” Both share the experience of having been uprooted, one by the war (in a chilling sequence, he describes the life and beauty of his home, tracing on the ground the rooms that disappeared when another building replaced it); the other by the many suicide attacks that destroyed his successive photo studios. Faced with the scale of what has been irretrievably destroyed and is architecturally, humanly and politically impossible to undo, the finale proposes a literally humble common ground: grass, the waterside, the climate – which for this city bled dry are not so much a bucolic utopia as the possibility of freeing it from a future based on historic stigma alone. (Charlotte Garson)

Production / Print source: Majed Neisi Productions

Majed Neisi was born in Iran during the war with Iraq. This background led him to question with his work the pathology of the conflicts in the Middle-East. His films, regularly shown at international festivals, describe ordinary characters caught in the movement of History. He currently works on documentary projects in Iraq and Syria.