Home

Filmtage Augsburg `03

Einleitung/Info
Michael Moore
Timetable
Anmeldung/Application
Akkreditierung
Presse
Anfahrt
Partner/Sponsoren
Impressum
Kontakt
Kinderfilmfest 2003
Einleitung/Info
Bilder d. Eröffung
Wettbewerbsfilme
Modellprojekt
Der goldene Spatz
Tage des unabh. Films
Einleitung
Programm
Alle Filme: A-Z
In America
Fokus Iran
Timetable
Kurzfilmwochenende
Einleitung/Info
Wettbewerb 1
Wettbewerb 2
Wettbewerb 3
Wettbewerb 4
Wettbewerb 5
POP-EYED
Kino von Morgen
Einleitung/Info
Programm
Anmeldung/Application
Archiv
Filmtage 2002
Die Autovermietung Hertz-Straub
Denim Air
Mobility by Werner Ziegelmeier GmbH
Schwarzbräu


Filmtage Augsburg 2003

17. Tage des unabhängigen Films/
Days of Independent Film:
24. November - 30. November 2003

Focus Iran:
Sokut-e bejn-e do fekr
(Stille zwischen zwei Gedanken)

>> ZU SEHEN AM
Mi , 26.11. - 17.00 Uhr im Thalia

Sa, 29.11. - 20.00 Uhr im
Stadtwerkesaal (Hoher Weg)

In einem entlegen Dorf entkommt eine junge Frau der Hinrichtung, weil behauptet wird, eine hingerichtete Jungfrau komme in den Himmel, während ein Krimineller doch zur Hölle fahren müsse. Hadschi, der religiöse Führer des Dorfes, drängt auf die Vollstreckung des Urteils und verheiratet die Verurteilte mit dem Henker. Bräutigam und Braut stehen sich als Henker, Gefangene und späteres Opfer gegenüber.

Thema von Babak Payamis drittem und bestem Spielfilm ist weder die Religion noch die gesellschaftliche Rückständigkeit. Vielmehr geht es um den Missbrauch von Religion zur Knechtung der Menschen. Payami geht das Thema, das in allen Religionen und Gesellschaften brisant ist, mit bewundernswerter Ruhe an. Die Handlung und vor allem die Visualisierung, basierend auf dem Spannungsbogen zwischen dem, was im Bild zu sehen ist, und dem, was ausserhalb des Bildes geschieht und nur über den Ton wahrgenommen werden kann, entwerfen einen subtilen und scharfsinnigen Diskurs.

Kurz vor der Fertigstellung des Films beschlagnahmten die iranischen Behörden das Originalmaterial des Films. Dennoch läuft der Film in Augsburg.

Robert Richter © 2003

Anmerkungen des Filmautors

Die Stille zwischen zwei Gedanken im Titel meines Films bezieht sich auf den Moment, in dem ein Individuum oder eine ganze Gesellschaft aus dem Albtraum einer blindlings eingegangenen Überzeugung erwacht. Es ist eine Reise voll Zweifel und Unentschiedenheit. Der Film erzählt die Geschichte eines Mannes, der das Opfer seiner blinden Überzeugung ist. Er ist dem fundamentalistischen Dogmatismus unterworfen.

Ich glaube, der Film endet mit einem Neubeginn. Aber grundsätzlich ist es der Anfang eines Endes. Das Ende einer Ära der Enttäuschung, der Verwirrung und des Zweifels. Diese Ära liess aber auch den Hass auf Unterdrückung und den Beginn eines Bewusstseins entstehen.

Ich versuche zu zeigen, dass zwei und zwei manchmal fünf ergibt! Strukturell ist Film für mich weniger fiktional/narrativ als musikalisch/lyrisch. Wenn ich eine Einstellung kadriere, Dialog oder Handlung einbaue, achte ich immer sehr darauf, was ausserhalb des Bildfensters ist - was nicht gesagt wird und was nicht umgesetzt werden kann. Vermutlich beeinflusst mich die Umgebung, in der ich meine drei Filme gemacht habe, aber das ist nicht zwingend der einzige Einfluss. Es ist auch eine Wesensart der „östlichen“ Kultur. Die Kommunikation zwischen den Menschen ist von viel Indirektem und vielen Verschlüsselungen geprägt.

Ich weiss noch immer nicht, weshalb sie das Filmmaterial beschlagnahmt haben oder ob ich das Negativ jemals zurückerhalten werde. Einer der Hauptkritikpunkte, die iranische Meinungsmacher gegen Filme wie meinen vorbringen, besagt, dass solche Filme dem Ruf von Iranern oder Muslimen schaden. Das könnte unwahrer nicht sein. Ich glaube, wir Filmemacher gehen von unserem eigenen Umfeld aus, um menschliche Themen allgemein aufzugreifen. Wir sind weder Journalisten noch Reporter, so wenig wie wir Politiker oder Ideologen sind.

Babak Payami, Spätsommer 2003
(vollständiger Text siehe englische Originalfassung)

Babak Payami
Geboren 1966 in Teheran. In den frühen Neunzigerjahren studiert er Film an der University of Toronto. Nach fast 20 Jahren in Kanada kehrt er in den Iran zurück und dreht dort drei Spielfilme: „Ein Tag mehr“ (Jek rus-e bischtar, 1999, ausgezeichnet an den Filmfestivals von Tokio oder Turin), „Geheime Wahl / Secret Ballot“ (Rai-je machfi, 2001, Goldener Löwe am Filmfestival Venedig, weitere Preise an den Festivals von Rotterdam oder São Paulo) und „Stille zwischen zwei Gedanken“ (Sokut-e bejn-e do fekr, 2003). Nach der Beschlagnahmung des Originalmaterials von „Stille zwischen zwei Gedanken“ verlässt Babak Payami Iran.

 

>> English

In a remote village, a young woman is spared from execution based on a claim that “criminals must go to hell, but an executed virgin will go to heaven.” Urging on the completion of the task, a local spiritual leader weds the virgin to her eventual executioner. The Executioner must face the woman as his bride, prisoner and future victim...

The Executioner finds himself in a whirlpool of doubt. He has always been a true believer in leader Haji and his cause. Now he finds it difficult to understand the Haji's sudden altering of the law.

The Executioner's eyes are soon opened to the power struggle between the Haji and the Moazen, the man who recites the call for daily prayers. The consequences of disobeying the ruthless Haji become all too clear. The Haji and his circle of followers will stop at nothing to hold their control of the poverty and drought-stricken village.
Despite the Haji’s disapproval, wise old Auntie insists the Virgin accompany the other village women for the traditional pilgrimage into the mountains. The Executioner turns desperately to the past for answers as the threat of violence increases...

Source: Press book


Babak Payami


“Silence Between Two Thoughts” is Babak Payami's follow-up to his internationally successful “Secret Ballot”. 2001's “Secret Ballot” won Payami a Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival. Payami had previously received critical acclaim for his first feature, “One More Day”, presented at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival (Panorama). “One More Day” received the Special Jury Prize in Turin and the Best Artistic Contribution Award in Tokyo. Born in Tehran in 1966, Payami studied cinema at the University of Toronto during the early 90's. In 1998, he returned to Iran, after an almost two decade-long absence, to produce and direct his debut “One More Day”.
Feature films: “One More Day” (1999), “Secret Ballot” (2001), “Silence Between Two Thoughts” (2003)

Source: Press book


Comments by the film director

Silence Between Two Thoughts
The "silence between two thoughts" referred to in my film's title is the moment when an individual or even a whole society wakes up from the nightmare of blind conviction. It's a journey of doubt and indecision. The film tells the story of a man who is the victim of his blind convictions. He's the subject of fundamentalist dogmatism. An executioner in a remote village, he is forced to marry a young woman so that she will no longer be a virgin. In this way, he is then expected to execute his own bride after consumating their marriage. Once confronted with his victim, the executioner finds himself in a whirlpool of doubt.

Religion
The film isn't about religion. Instead, “Silence Between Two Thoughts” addresses the dilemma of people whose religious beliefs are exploited in order to rule them. Religion is the backdrop for everything in life in the region where I shot the film. It's impossible to make a film about that region without addressing religion. Especially when it is misused to deceive people. So the film offers a humanistic view of a violent and tragic situation. The principal issue in the film as it pertains to religion is how it can be misrepresented and misused. This happened similarly during the Middle Ages; we saw it during the Taliban, we even saw it in Waco, Texas. It’s as old as humanity itself. Satan was at work even in the Garden of Eden.

The Beginning of an End
I think the film ends with a beginning. But it's basically the beginning of an end. The end of an era of deception, confusion and doubt. This era led was also responsible for creating a hate of oppression and the start of awareness. Unfortunately, it seems bitterly true that enlightenment historically arrives only after great human suffering. As we’ve seen over and over again in history, there is a great price to pay for blind conviction. For example, the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, who were victimized by oppressive regimes for decades. Despite the fact that they were oppressed, they ended up being victimized because of their religious conviction. They failed to stand up against the misrepresentation of religion and as a result, even allowed the true virtues of their religion to be tarnished. I think this is very precisely represented in the film.

The Oppression of Women
The women’s issue is a core element in my film. I wanted to get to the heart of that issue. What is used as an excuse to save the virgin convict's life is characteristic of the most despicable aspect of how women are treated in an oppressed society. I was deliberately vague in regards to the crime she is accused of. In oppressive societies, it often seems that being a woman is a crime. A great majority of the atrocities carried out by theocratic dictatorships throughout history had actually nothing to do with actual religious belief, but more with sexist dogma. None of the world's major religions have been immune from this.

Non-Professional Actors
Except for the lead actress, all the other players are local people from eastern Iran near the border of Afghanistan. Maryam Moghaddam is one of the finest young talents in Iran. She was very selfless and dedicated to this film. What was important is that she doesn’t stand out, but blends in. The executioner is played by a wonderful young man who happens to be a Kung Fu master with a great following in the surrounding area. If it wasn’t for the kindness and help of the local people, this film would never have been made. Despite the extreme circumstances and harsh environment suffered by that region, the people remain among the kindest and most generous I have ever encountered in all my travels. My experiences from living in Afghanistan for almost 8 years made me especially attached to the people of Pakistan's Sistan/Baluchistan provinces, who have similar cultures. The locals gave me a lot of advice and I followed it. It didn’t feel like the normal way of filmmaking where the director dictates the work. I was exploring, learning and discovering throughout the entire process.

Three Miles from Afghanistan
I didn’t originally intend to venture that far geographically into Iran, but I had a clear idea from the start about what look and feel I wanted for the film. The social and human texture of the film was particularly important for me. Ultimately, after months of traveling and research, I found the right spot -- three miles from the border of Afghanistan! The area we shot in is very closed with strict social rules. I was adamant on maintaining a respectful relationship with the locals and didn’t want to disrupt their lives. Very difficult lives that they have managed to forge despite the severe conditions. I needed many women for the film. Just to approach and speak with women in that region is considered a major offence. It took months of living in that area and blending in with the local population to develop the trust. Interestingly enough it was much easier for me than anyone else in the main crew since I lived in these regions for most of my early childhood years.

The Set
I spoke with several professional set designers in Iran, but because I didn’t have a script in the traditional sense, I couldn’t simply instruct someone to build from a model. I also needed someone to live through the shoot with us and not just build a set and go home. So I hired a local master builder who knew the ancient building methods and we built our way through the film. We used construction methods that were used 2000 years ago. We built and modified sets until the last day of shooting. Some of it had to do with shooting technicalities and some of it had to do with the esthetics that I wanted.

Encryption
I try to show that sometimes two plus two is five! For me, film is less fictional/narrative than musical/lyrical in structure. When I frame a shot, incorporate dialogue or integrate action, I am always conscious of what is outside the frame -- what is not said and what can’t be done. This is probably an influence of the surroundings in which I made my three films, but not necessarily the only influence. It is also a characteristic of the “eastern” culture. There is a great deal of indirectness and encryption in people’s communication. Ambiguity among the roles of the film's village leaders is part of my argument. It is one of the reasons why people are victimized by opportunists. Another example is the leading character wanting to see proof of the existence of certain laws. Not only do I have to observe and convey this ambiguity in the film, but I also find myself having to use the same method of cryptic communication in order to be able to make the films and get through the so-called obstacles.

Confiscation of the Negatives
The negatives of my film have been confiscated by the authorities in Iran. It has taken a lot of effort and anxiety to prepare a special version of my film to be shown at the Venice and Toronto festivals. As of September 2003, I still don't know why they were confiscated or whether or not I'll ever be able to get the negatives back ... One of the major criticisms by certain Iranian mindsets usually pointed at a film like mine is that such films are tarnishing the reputation of Iranians or Muslims. This couldn't be farther from the truth. I think we filmmakers merely draw from our own surroundings to tackle human issues on a much broader level. We are not journalists or reporters, just as much as we are not politicians or ideologues.

Babak Payami, late summer 2003

 

Statement of the film director at the programme press conference of the Venice Film Festival

Thank you for your time this afternoon.

Unfortunately, I am not here to celebrate the selection of my new film in the Venice Film festival this year. The repression and intimidation of the media and arts community in Iran is not new to any of us and most regrettably, the case of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian/Canadian photojournalist is not an isolated incident.

As you might have been aware, a few weeks ago, while I was putting the final touches on my new film, I was arrested by plain clothed officials on the Tehran streets and eventually, the material for my film was confiscated from my offices with no formal and legal justification. During the several hours of informal interrogation, various threats and accusations were being made against me. I naturally turned to the Iranian filmmakers’ union and the ministry of culture for support. However, as we speak today, several weeks after this incident, my material is being held and I am yet to receive any formal clarification of the case.

Since then, government officials have subjected other Iranian filmmakers to harassment by way of informal interrogations and persecution. The independent film community in Iran faces one of the darkest times in recent history. Through such actions, not only the work of existing and established filmmakers is jeopardized, but also the coming to fruition of new talent is facing a violent abortion.

It is most unfortunate that independent minded artists are being dragged into politics as an excuse for their persecution and repression. However, this is not limited to the arts community. Anybody who demands their most basic human rights and their freedom of expression are being politicized as a means to classify them as the “enemy” and to persecute and ultimately, eliminate their hunger for freedom and their desire for an “apolitical” life. The enemy, isn’t this a familiar word in recent months? I am disheartened by the fact that even on what seems to be the other end of the international spectrum, this most undemocratic of mentalities, that of “you’re either with us or against us” is being legitimized and somehow tolerated by the general population. Especially in recent years, it is ever more clear that we do not have a political model for freedom and respect for human rights. This, in principal, is the primary reason for our refraining from politics. This is also why we, as independent artists, irrespective of our nationality, are pleading to the people of the world through our work, to abandon politics and politicians, especially those who only exist based on the notion of the enemy, to turn to a humanistic way of life.

As a result, the participation of my film, even if I can manage to salvage two frames of my film in time for the scheduled screening at Venice, is for me and for the independent film community around the world, a matter of human and artistic principal. It is a plea to all who hold humanity ahead of ideology, race, nationality and any other artificially imposed abhor ration upon human civilization, to react to such oppression wherever it happens in defense of our most basic rights as human beings. The right to think and to express ourselves freely while we respect the rights of others to do the same.

Babak Payami, 31st July 2003

 





Sokut-e bejn-e do fekr
(Stille zwischen zwei Gedanken)
Filmdaten

Regie, Drehbuch, Produktion: Babak Payami
Kamera: Farsad Dschodat
Schnitt: Dschafar Panahi, Babak Karimi
Darsteller: Maryam Moghaddam (Jungfrau), Kamal Naru’i (Henker)
Iran, 2003, 95 Min.


Sokut-e bejn-e do fekr
(Stille zwischen zwei Gedanken)
Pressedownloads

Bild 1

Bild 1

Bild ist Eigentum und ©,®,™ des jeweiligen Filmverleihs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sokoot-e bein-e do fekr
(Silence Between Two Thoughts)
Credits

Written, produced and directed by: Babak Payami
Director of Photography: Farzad Jodat
Editors: Jafar Panahi, Babak Karimi
Cast: Maryam Moghaddam, Kamal Naroui
Iran, 2003, 95 min.

 

13. Internationales Symposium Kino von Morgen Augsburg 22. Augsburger Kinderfilmfest 12. Kurzfilmwochenende Augsburg 17. tage des unabhängigen Films