"Harrowing, defiant, and exemplifying through its very existence the moral courage its totalitarian villains stamp down, Rasoulof's MDB exposes the brutal measures Iran's government takes against free expression, and does this ... powerfully.... The film, while wrenching and audacious, is crafted with that humane and observational mastery of great Iranian cinema of recent decades." - Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
at the end of 70's US and Russian hegemony war on Iran,has affected left ideas, most of intellectuals and the knowledge of the younger generations. Now they are living under sharia , and that's a shame. I dont ve any idea that how he found actors for shooting this film in this country...
Like most authoritarian societies, the Islamic Republic of Iran has all the power of the state at its disposal to remove its opponents and critics, and few qualms about doing so. The impeccably groomed censor/inquisitor makes for an easy antagonist; it's as if Winston Smith schemed his way to becoming O'Brien instead of shacking up with Julia. Poetic, dreamlike, brutal, banal, tense, and bleak. Samizdat cinema.
given the bus incidence and disabled writer's name, this film's alluding to the pre-2000 Chain Murders. being a non-expert on anything in Iran, the story portrayed here, which sets in current time (at least post facebook and twitter) seemed significantly less powerful. The chief weaponry of the heartless censors in negotiating cooperation are "you drank vodka" & releasing foreign travel bans. And they seems to have..
Magnificent. In every way. It is shot beautifully and acted with great subtlety and skill. And the story is EXTREMELY well-crafted! The director weaves it all together with extraordinary care and purpose. All of this skill and craftsmanship supporting a complex and important story and theme. Just marvelous.
Film and architecture are probably the most elitist forms of creative expression. This is a powerful film at times, and thus the four stars, but I am always suspicious of propaganda when it comes to places I have never actually been to myself. All the more so when the country is on the other side of the U.S. imperial war machine. Such questions aside, this stands as a solid political thriller on its own terms.
This film is a day in the life of two enforcers for the police. The pacing is matter of fact and the presentation reserved; we are not told to be afraid. It just happens. I asked, "How can you do this?" A character replies, "We are following sharia." The script is daring: conquered and friendless, an aging writer washes his dishes, then his telephone... and provides a scene of cogent storytelling.
TIFF '13 Interesting and compelling take on censorship, artistic freedom and the silencing of the intellectual from director Rasoulof. But the film excels by also focusing on the men hired to do the silencing and presenting their problems and reasons for participating for economic and familial reasons and not for political doctrine. Fascinating and compelling but really nothing new under the sun here. Solid script.
Pitch-dark political thriller 'Manuscripts Don't Burn' seems to offer little hope of change in Iran, except perhaps for its title, which quotes Bulgakov's famous Stalin-era novel 'The Master and Margarita' and its conviction that ideas can never be supressed entirely. Read my full review: www.brnrd.net/blog/archive/2014/01/29/iffr-manuscripts-dont-burn
Commendable for exposing the Islamic Republic's crackdown on freedom of speech and it's fear of the intellectual community, made in secret and devoid of credits (for fear of recrimination) it's amazing it was completed at all. As a narrative film however it's unfortunately nothing new in terms of US vs THEM and feels very familiar to many cold war stories. It's extremely well shot with subtle direction. 3 stars