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Films by Lifetime Acheivement Awardee Dariush Mehrjui

Ashbah

Iran / Persian / 2014
Direction:Daruish Mehrjui
A drunken, boorish general tyrannises wife and maid and lead a nasty life style. The wife discovers that her husband and the maid are having an extra marital affair. She turns the maid out of the house, little realising that the young woman is pregnant with the general’s child. Years later, the general is dead, and a younger generation has risen with a new outlook on life and new problems to face. This flamboyantly stylised melodrama, loosely adapted from Ibsen, is the newest work by Dariush Mehrjui, who is considered as one of the legendary figures of Iran’s New Wave.

Hamoun

Iran / Persian / 1990

Direction:Daruish Mehrjui
Hamid Hamoun works as an executive at a leading import-export firm. He lives with his wife Mahshid who is a budding artist in abstract painting. Mahshid hails from a rich family but marries Hamoun, from middle class family, after falling for his intellectual tastes and progressive thinking. After 7 years of marriage Mahshid who was once very much in love with Hamoun begins to see him as a constricting force against her desire which is to do something meaningful with her life. Hamoun who wishes to pursue a career as a writer while simultaneously preparing for his PhD thesis, occasionally takes out his frustration at his wife. Mahshid soon demands to divorce him. Hamoun is shocked to find out that his wife no longer loves him. The story depicts Hamoun’s incapability to deal with the reality of losing his wife and living with his unfulfilled dreams. The subsequent scenes portray Hamoun’s realisations coupled with dreamlike sequences.

 

Awards
Fajr Film Festival- Crystal Simorgh, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editing
Tokyo International Film Festival

Sara

Iran / Persian / 1993

Direction:Daruish Mehrjui
Sara is a perfect young housewife who struggles to run the family, when husband Hessam requires an expensive emergency operation abroad. It is she who raises the funds required for her husband’s need. For the next three years Sara labours secretly to pay the shady loan and save Hessam’s pride, until the truth is revealed and, with it, the reality of her marriage. The film is based on Henrik Ibsen‘s play A Doll’s House, with Sara in the role of Nora, Hesam in the role of Torvald, Sima in the role of Ms Linde and Goshtasb in the role of Nils Krogstad.

 

Awards
Nantes Three Continents Festival, Audience Award, Best Actress, Silver Montgolfiere
San Sebastian International Film Festival, Golden Seashell, Silver Seashell

Mum's Guest / Mehman-e maman

Iran / Persian / 2004

Direction:Daruish Mehrjui
A mother begins preparations for a welcome party for her nephew and his wife. However, there are not enough ingredients to fix a meal for them. Her husband hasn’t received his salary for several months. However, several neighbours come to the families’ aid and help with the preparations of the dishes. The film essays the unity of social life and helping hand along with satirical elements.

 

Awards
Fajr Film Festival -Crystal Simorgh, Best Film

Santouri

Iran / Persian / 2007

Direction:Daruish Mehrjui
Ali is son of a well-off family who plays the santoor (an Iranian instrument) and has earned some reputation through his concerts and teaching music but is rejected by his family because of this profession, which they despise. He falls for one of his music students but after a short blissful period, life doesn’t treat him as well as before and also his addiction agonize him in his numbered days before redemption.

 

Awards
Fajr Film Festival- Crystal Simorgh, Best Actor

Gaav

Iran / Persian / 1969

Direction:Daruish Mehrjui
The story begins by showcasing the close relationship between a middle-aged Iranian villager Masht Hassan and his beloved cow. Hassan is married but has no children. His only valuable property is a cow that he cherishes because it’s the only cow in the village. When Hassan must leave the village for a short time, the pregnant cow is found dead in the barn. Hassan’s fellow villagers fear his reaction and cover up the evidence of the death and tell him upon his return that his cow has run away. Having great difficulty dealing with the loss of his beloved cow, as well the loss of livestock that affects his social stature at the village, Hassan gradually goes insane following a nervous breakdown and he starts to believe he is the cow, adopting such mannerisms such as eating hay. His wife and the villagers try in vain to restore his sanity.

Awards
Berlin International Film Festival- OCIC Award, Recommendation, Forum of New Film
Venice Film Festival -FIPRESCI Prize

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