A former Iranian culture minister says the film ‘Breath’ directed by Narges Abyar is a good choice to represent Iran in the global arena, particularly the Academy Awards.
Ahmad Masjed-Jamei, a member of Tehran City Council and a former minister of culture, has hailed the selection of ‘Breath’ as Iran’s official submission to the Academy Awards.
According to a Farsi report by Khabar Online, he said looking at the issue of peace could be seen not only in ‘Breath’, but also in Abyar’s previous film ‘The Groove 143’.
“In addition to expressing the director’s peace-seeking viewpoint, one of the characteristics of ‘Breath’ is the special attention of the filmmaker to the lifestyle of an Iranian family at a certain point in the contemporary history of this land,” Masjed-Jamei added.
He went on to say that the Iranian culture is full of diversities.
“One of the most appreciated values of this culture is the self-defence, and the other, is the value of ethnic, human and cultural diversification. Many people think that accepting one of these two values is the rejection of the other; but the film ‘Breath’ by Abyar has managed to put together these two values in a frame beautifully.”
Therefore, he added, the film can be a good cultural representative of Iran at the Oscars.
Masjed-Jamei, who is a member of the Cultural and Social Commission of Tehran City Council, said ‘Breath’ depicts different aspects of the Iranian life at different ages in urban and rural areas.
“The audience of the film faces a large amount of information about people’s lives during the years of revolution and war. One of the positive points about the movie is its special attention to ethics in the Iranian family, and Abyar has rightly chosen the topic of self-defence during the imposed war.”
The former culture minister highlighted that ‘Breath’ screens the turmoil that war creates in people’s collective and family life.
“In addition, one of the reasons for the success of this film is the sensational narration of the director, which seems to be a kind of narrative of her childhood, especially when we see the film is narrated from the viewpoint of a child girl,” he underscored.
“Most directors act selectively in narrating their stories, but in this film there is no selective look, and it describes all the story in full detail.”
Stressing that the film can beautifully represent Iranian cinema at the international events, Masjed-Jamei concluded that one of the reasons for choosing ‘Breath’ to participate in international competitions is its true account of Iranian life.
“Breath”, produced in 2015, relates the story of a little Iranian girl named Bahar who lives a life spun from folklore and stories, always with her head in a book. But growing up in Yazd in the 1970s and ’80s, she is at the centre of a country in turmoil: the Shah is overthrown, Ayatollah Khomeini rises to power, and the first shots are fired in a bitter and protracted war with Iraq. Over the span of several years, Bahar finds daydreaming in her own fantasy world is the only way she can make sense of the pain and suffering warring humans inflict on one another.