In Cannes, “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree,” a film about the power of Iranian women, has everything it deserves for a Palme d’Or

In Cannes, “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree,” a film about the power of Iranian women, has everything it deserves for a Palme d’Or
In Cannes, “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree,” a film about the power of Iranian women, has everything it deserves for a Palme d’Or
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Pyramid Films Soheila Golestani, Mahsa Rostami and Setareh Maleki, here in “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree”.

Pyramid Films

Soheila Golestani, Mahsa Rostami and Setareh Maleki, here in “The Seeds of the Wild Fig Tree”.

MOVIE THEATER – ” Woman, life, freedom. » This Friday, May 24, the movement in support of the Iranian people resonated loud and clear at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was presented in competition Wild fig tree seedsthe latest feature film by Mohammad Rasoulof, a 52-year-old Iranian filmmaker on the run.

The story of this new film, shot clandestinely, is that of a middle-class family from Tehran, whose patriarch has just been appointed investigator. If in the eyes of his two daughters, he is a civil servant like any other, in reality this new position integrates him into the workings of his country’s repressive justice system.

And while the protest movement breaks out in the country against the current authoritarian regime in place, his superiors give him a gun so that he can protect himself. Stored carefully in the drawer of his bedside table, it disappears one fine day.

An unexpected thriller

It’s impossible. Who could have stolen it? It must be one of his daughters. And certainly the biggest. Her new best friend was spotted at one of the protests. What if it was actually his own wife? Despite twenty years of living together, the husband is worried. And very quickly, he sinks into paranoia.

Like those of many other allies of the regime, his name and address have just leaked on social networks. It is certain that we want his skin. He then takes his wife and children with him towards the countryside, where he will undoubtedly be safer. On the agenda for the impromptu family road trip: car chase, kidnapping and manhunt. The two young women and their mother – although far from being a revolutionary – unite in what is transforming into an astonishing thriller.

Standing ovation lasting several minutes, applause and cries from the heart… At the end of the Cannes screening where we were, Mohammad Rasoulof and part of the team, who were able to travel here, received an extraordinary welcome . And we understand why. The new film from the director ofBye loudly advocates the power and impact of Iranian women in the current movement to denounce the regime and oppression.

A serious candidate for the Palme d’Or

Because behind the pitch that we have just described, there is a moving social film which, with real videos filmed on the phone (often bloody) during the riots, prevents us from looking away from the screen and the situation. in Iran. The viewer relives current events, as can be witnessed by the frontal evocation of the disappearance of Mahsa Amini, this student of Kurdish origin arrested a few days before her death because she was accused of having incorrectly adjusted her veil.

Sentenced on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival to eight years in prison for “ collusion against national security », Mohammad Rasoulof almost wasn’t present this Friday. Even though he was for a long time one of the Iranian artists who remained behind, the filmmaker recently fled, without his passport (confiscated by the authorities in 2017).

Having passed through Germany (where he should obtain asylum), he arrived in France a few days ago. This Saturday, date of the closing ceremony of this 77th edition of the festival, his film Wild fig tree seeds is a serious candidate for the Palme d’Or.

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