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Mohsen Makhmalbaf

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Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Born: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, May 29, 1957 (Tehran, Iran).

Directing style: Controversial visual poet of Iranian New Wave; autobiographical and childhood themes; chronicles the history of Iran state and its people; often works with family members.

Profile: With its repressive political environment, Iran may seem an unlikely spot for a film renaissance, but that is just what has emerged in the country over the course of the past few years. One of the leaders of Iran’s modern film movement is writer and director Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Born in Tehran, Makhmalbaf grew up to become an anti- Shah activist and was subsequently jailed for four years for hit political beliefs. Finally released after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Makhmalbaf moved away from politics and into filmmaking, although his features still often reveal a strong political undercurrent. Indeed, several have been banned under Iran’s regime, even though the director and his films draw praise from around the globe.

One of Makhmalbaf’s earliest breakthroughs was Gabbeh (1996), which coincided with the recognition of all the great films being made in Iran. His Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Solar e Ghandehar (2001) (Kandahar), coincidentally released shortly before the events of the September 11 terrorist attacks, captured the difficulties of life in Afghanistan under the waning but oppressive rule of the Taliban, and work or that film helped inspire Makhmalbaf’s ongoing dedication to humanitarian aid around Central Asia. Makhmalbaf is in the rare position of being able to call both his wife Marzieh Meshkini and his daughter Samira Makhmalbaf his peers, as well as his students, as each has proven, in part thanks to Makhmalbaf’s tutelage and instruction, a successful and acclaimed filmmaker in her own right. Makhmalbaf continues to work closely with his talented family members, often collaborating with them in the role o either editor or screenwriter. Joshua Klein

Top Takes…

“A lot of people love cinema because they find it a way of expressing themselves.”

Sex & Philosophy 2005

The Chair 2005

Alefbay-e afghan 2002 (The Afghan Alphabet)

Safar e Ghandehar 2001 (Kandahar)

Tales of an Island 2000

Ghessê hayê kish1999 (Tales of Kish)

Sokout 1998 (The Silence)

Nun va Goldoon 1996 (A Moment of Innocence)

Gabbeh 1996

Salaam Cinema 1995

Honarpisheh 1993 (The Actor)

Shabhaye Zayendeh-Rood 1991 (The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood)

Nobat e Asheghi 1990 (Time of Love)

Baykot 1985 (Boycott)

Tobeh Nosuh 1983

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