FILMS SEEN IN THE NEXT SHOT FESTIVAL ON JULY 16, 2010:
1.SONBOL (2008, Niko Apel, Germany, documentary, A+)
I think this film is the documentary side of THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN (2000, Marzieh Makhmalbaf).
Things I like in this film include:
1.1 The scene in which Sonbol and her mother perform a traditional dance in their own house. It gives me a good feeling, because Sonbol and her mother always argue with each other. So I feel relieved to see that they can still dance together. It is also a relief to see that they can enjoy themselves this way. If I understand it correctly, Iran doesn’t like women to sing in public. This problem is portrayed in the film THE UNFINISHED SONG (2001, Maziar Miri, A+). So I feel good to see that they can still dance in private.
1.2 The story about her being jailed just for attending a party. The Iranian law is totally oppressive. It can ruin someone’s life though that person never harms anyone. This part of the film reminds me of THE CIRCLE (2000, Jafar Panahi, A+).
1.3 The story about her failed marriage, which brings tear to Sonbol’s eyes. It also shows her strength because she can survive all these disasters in her life.
1.4 The part which shows Sonbol getting lost while racing. It is unintentionally a metaphor for our lives. Some of us may get lost while trying to decide which path to choose in life. We may have taken some wrong paths in life, but we must not be panic, or spend too much time regretting our wrong decision, or blame it on other people who encourage us to choose the wrong path. We must be calm and use our brain to find a way out of our wrong path.
1.5 The part which deal with the unhappy life of Sonbol’s assistant
I like SONBOL very much, and I think Niko Apel did her best in directing this film. It is a documentary, so Niko cannot make the story in the film to be more dramatic or more exciting than it actually is. As for now, I give the film A+, not A+++++, just because I don’t think it really stands out from other films which also deal with the oppressed life in Iran, such as:
1.6 BE LIKE OTHERS (2008, Tanaz Eshaghian)
1.7 THE FIFTH REACTION (2003, Tahmineh Milani)
1.8 OUR TIMES (2002, Rakhshan Bani Etemad)
1.9 THE QUEEN AND I (2008, Nahid Persson)
1.10 PERSEPOLIS (2007, Vincent Paronnaud + Marjane Satrapi)
2.SHADOWS (2009, Hanna Bergholm, Finland, A+)
3.DIPLOMA (2009, Yaelle Kayam, Israel, A+)
4.LEBENSADER (2009, Angela Steffen, Germany, animation, A+)
5.ANTHEM (2008, Elad Keidan, Israel, A+)
6.THE WAR WITHIN (2009, Astrid Schult, Germany, documentary, A+)
7.GHOSTS (2009, Jan Ijäs, Finland, documentary, A)
8.MOBILE (2010, Verena Fels, Germany, animation, possibly A)
9.THE BALLOON TRIP (2009, Jonas Kukkonen, Finland, A)
10.DO NOT DISTURB (2009, Tommi Kainulainen, Finland, A)
11.STORE BOUGHT LOVE (2010, Soh Chin Hwee, Singapore, possibly A-)