Ali has recently been released from prison and is now working as a night watchman in Tehran. This factory job now means that he is at least able to support his small family comprising his wife Sara and their daughter, Saba. One day, Ali comes home from work to discover that Sara and Saba have disappeared. Realising that there’s no point in waiting for them any more, Ali decides to go to the police. But there’s chaos at the police station and it takes hours for him to discover anything. Finally, he is informed that his wife was caught up in a shoot-out with demonstrators and was killed. His daughter Saba, however, is still missing.
Ali’s search for his daughter drives him to distraction; he despairs still more, when, in the end, her dead body is discovered. Desperate for revenge he runs amok randomly killing two policemen. After the deed he heads for the woods in the north by car. But the police have long been on his trail; they give chase along a country road until Ali’s car crashes. Ali runs off into the woods to hide among the trees – in vain.
Hassan and Azem, the two policemen who are chasing him, arrest him. Ali seems resigned to his fate and willingly follows the two men, who keep a sharp eye on him. But then, they get lost. All they can see are trees. In such a remote landscape as this, it’s hard to tell the difference between hunters and hunted. —Berlinale
Rafi Pitts (born 1967 in Mashad, Iran) is an internationally acclaimed Iranian film director.
Rafi spent his childhood in Tehran, where he lived in a basement flat underneath a post-production studio. He describes himself as having been a ‘very bad’ child actor, starting in films at the age of eight. He came to England (his father is English) in 1981 during the Iran Iraq war. He graduated in 1991 from Harrow College – Polytechnic of Central London with a BA (Hons) degree in Film and Photography. His first short film, In Exile (1991) was presented the same year at the London International Film Festival. In the 90’s Pitts moved to Paris and worked on films by Leos Carax, Jacques Doillon and Jean-Luc Godard.
Educated in France and England, Rafi Pitts belongs to the new wave of Iranian cinema, which received numerous prestigious prizes in the international festival circuit.
In 1996 he had the opportunity to film in Iran and describes himself as having been the first… read more
Pitts’s visual control ensures that the divide between institutionalized injustice and personal revenge remains volatile, thorny terrain