In the past year the world lost two great filmmakers, Abbas Kiarostami and Chantal Akerman, who left an indelible mark in cinema and made captivating and challenging films throughout their careers. DokuFest will honor Kiarostami and Akerman with the screenings of some of their landmark films.
TRIBUTE: ABBAS KIAROSTAMI
Abbas Kiarostami, considered to be a father of modern Iranian cinema, passed away less than a month ago. The filmmaker is believed to have set a standard for progressive cinema in Iran, paving the way for filmmakers who sought to challenge global perceptions of Iran, the political and religious system in the country, as well as produce much-lauded films in his trademark still shots and in cinema verite style.
DokuFest will be honoring Kiarostami by showing two of his cult films – the Palme d’Or winning minimalist “Taste of Cherry” about a man driving around Tehran looking for someone to bury him after he commits suicide, and “Close-Up”, a film that has since become quintessential to Iranian cinema. It explains the convoluted story of a young man posing as cult filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf in order to impress the family of his love interest – a semi-documentary inspired by a headline Kiarostami picked up and by his personal admiration for Makhmalbaf.
HOMAGE: CHANTAL AKERMAN
In January 1976 Le Monde heralded Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles as “the first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema”. This restored version of the film will be shown at DokuFest, and depicts the transition of a woman from her daily routine as a housewife to her involvement in a discrete form of prostitution, which in the end leads to her death.
DokuFest will also screen Akerman’s final film “No Home Movie”, in which she returns to the subjects of loss, grief and identity by filming her mother, a strong-willed figure who fled the pogroms in Poland and her final days in her apartment in Brussels.
An interview with Chantal Akerman on the subject of belonging, recorded in Prishtina, Kosovo by Ibro Hasanovic – about a year before Akerman passed away in November 2015 will also be shown at the festival.