«Here My Village» by Abas Aram

Iranian Cinema more powerful than ever: strong stroytelling, captivating soundtrack, touching child caracters and a widow stuck in a remote village, afraid to remarry at the cost of having her children taken away from her.

This film is part of the School Programme of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF) and was first presented in 2020. It tells the story of Fahrad (Amirhosein Malkoutikhah), his sister Sara (Ava Mohammadi) and their mother Golbanou (Asiye Banitaba).

Fahrad is a fervant collector of foreign magazines. He loves photography and the walls of his room are full with cut-out images. One day, his mother takes him and his sister to the big City of Teheran to buy some new clothes and they enjoy the lifestyle of the capital. Fahrad discovers a photo camera in store and wants to buy it but he doesn’t have enough money.

Back in the village, Fahrad saves every penny he makes guarding goats for a local peasant and finally sells one of his mother’s sheep. Golbanou is mad at him for selling one of her precious animals and beats him until his aunt and cousin, hearing the crying Sara, make her stop.

With the money Fahrad finally buys the camera and takes pictures of his family and other people living in the village, as well as some goats. He discovers, that his memory card has a limited capacity and asks a doctor, who is the owner of a computer, if she is willing to save his pictures.

Later he starts developing his photographs and sends some shots to the prestigious magazine “National Geographic”.

This very simple but nonetheless touching story is set in a remote and poor iranian village. We discover the hard labour of farmers, who try to fertilize the dry soil they live on. Elderly people rest in front of their houses, smoke the Nargile and give sweets to the kids. Amidst this precarious surroundings Sara is a perfectly normal little girl, who likes pretty dresses and make up and her brother Fahrad turns out to be a gifted photographer of his village.

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