Bé Omid é Didar, which is being presented at Un Certain Regard, is the fifth feature-length film by Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, who is currently facing legal proceedings. Bé Omid é Didar tells the story of a young lawyer who is pregnant and wants to leave Iran.
Bé Omid é Didar is the fifth feature film by Mohammad Rasoulof, who is all too often called "the filmmaker arrested with Jafar Panahi". Very few people get the opportunity to discover his work. His second film, Jazireh ahani (Iron Island), which was chosen during Director's Fortnight at the 2005 Festival de Cannes, is the only one to have been on commercial release in several countries. The others, Gagooman (The Twilight, 2002), Baad-e-daboor (Head Wind, 2008) and Keshtzar haye sepid (White Meadows, 2009) have only been shown at film festivals.
Bé Omid é Didar has discreetly made it to Cannes, much like In Film Nist (This Is Not A Film), by Jafar Panahi. These two filmmakers have become symbols of artistic repression in Iran. After the contested re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, they were suspected of working on an anti-government film, and arrested in March 2010. They were condemned to six years in prison and a twenty year ban on making films or leaving the country. Both have appealed their sentences.
Panahi's film is a diary in which he talks about waiting for his verdict, whereas Rasoulof's is a fiction. It is the story of a young lawyer from Tehran who is pregnant and tries to get a visa so she can leave the country. Mohammad Rasoulof produced it in semi-clandestine conditions during winter 2010/2011.
Apart from being a political gesture by the Festival de Cannes and the international film community, their selection testifies to the quality of these films. Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux remind us that, "Panahi and Rasoulof are filmmakers, their actions show that no-one can stop them making films. The main reason we have selected these two films is because they are beautiful".
The film will be screened on Saturday 14 May at 11.30 am, Debussy Theatre
B. de M.