‘We can never get close to the truth except through lying.’ Abbas Kiarostami was already cryptically interweaving fiction and reality early on in his filmmaking career. Nema-ye Nazdik is based on a true event which Kiarostami read about in a newspaper, when unemployed printer and cineaste Sabzian posed as the famous director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and claimed he wanted to make a film about the wealthy Ahankhah family. His ruse enabled him to gain entry to the family’s home where he was generously entertained. When his true identity came to light he was brought before a court of law. Kiarostami received permission to film the trial. He was also able to persuade those involved to play themselves. Makhmalbaf himself puts in a cameo appearance.
For the film’s digital restoration, the technicians went back to the original negative to undertake extensive colour grading and adjust the sound quality. Director Kiarostami, who died last year, supervised the digitalisation process. It was his wish that the documentary scenes in the courtroom were kept in black-and-white in order to distinguish them more clearly from the dramatised scenes.
99’ · Black/White & Colour · 2K DCP
Hossein Sabzian (himself)Hassan Farazmand (Reporter)Abolfazl Ahankhah (Father)Mohsen Makhmalbaf (himself)Mehrdad Ahankhah (Son)
Born in Tehran, Iran in 1940, he died in Paris in 2016. He studied at Tehran University’s Faculty of Fine Arts and worked as a graphic designer and commercials director. He was involved in setting up the film department of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, out of which one of Iran’s most famous film studios was to emerge. He made his first short there in 1970. His feature film Ta'am e Guilass (Taste of Cherry) won the Palm d’Or at Cannes in 1997. Tickets screened at the 2005 Berlinale. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in Iranian cinema.Filmography (selection)
1970 Nan va Kutcheh (Brot und Straße); short film 1988 Khane-ye doust kodjast? (Wo ist das Haus meines Freundes?) 1990 Nema-ye Nazdik (Close-Up) 1994 Zire darakhatan zeytun (Quer durch den Olivenhain) 1997 Ta'am e guilass (Der Geschmack der Kirsche) 1999 Bad ma-ra khahad bord (Der Wind wird uns tragen) 2002 Ten 2005 Tickets; Co-directors: Ermanno Olmi, Ken Loach 2008 Shirin 2010 Copie conforme (Die Liebesfälscher) 2012 Like Someone in Love
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017
Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults - Kanoon
Farabi Cinema Foundation
As part of the ‘Iranian Modernity’ cultural programme of the Goethe Institute.