A recurring name in the Cinema of Childhood season, curated by Mark Cousins, is director Mohammad-Ali Talebi, who Mark proclaims 'one of the world's finest filmmakers'. Three of Talebi's films feature in the programme - The Boot, Bag of Rice and as screened in this event, Willow and Wind.
These films are tender and seemingly simple portraits of 'small' crises in the lives of children. They allow a child's concerns, hopes and erratic behaviour onto the screen so that what we find is not always likeable, but uniquely truthful. They are not the romanticised wayward child heroes we're accustomed to seeing in American classics - instead, they are honest and complex characters, performed beautifully by children.
In this rare post-screening Q&A with Talebi (who was visiting the UK for the very first time), he explains his artistic choices, how he became a filmmaker, and why the arguably mundane crises he depicts can be viewed as important and life-altering. He tells us more about the children involved, how he works with them, and where they are today.
Please note that Mohammad-Ali Talebi speaks Farsi, but is accompanied by Ehsan Khoshbakht, an Iranian translator, author, film critic and architect.
Posted on Thu 17 April 2014.