CARELESS CRIME

  • Iran
  • 2020

Time is relative in Shahram Mokri's films. Linearity anyway. That's good to know before immersing yourself in Careless Crime, because the Iranian director once again proves himself to be a master of narrative interweaving.

The starting point is a real-life disaster from the run-up to the revolution: on August 19, 1978, hundreds of people died in the flames of an arson attack on the Cinema Rex in Abadan. Mokri reconstructs, or rather reimagines, the crime in a daring cinematic collage of past and present that plays with all the registers of art to open up both original aesthetic and new historical perspectives. Fleeting but finely observed snapshots from the lives of young students today are blended with the events of the past across several time levels and narrative loops. Victims and perpetrators meet directly in the movie. A film-within-a-film persistently seeks a link back to the controversial work that was shown on the evening of the actual assassination: The Deer by Masoud Kimiai.

More complex and sustained than in his one-shot genre experiments Fish & Cat (2013) and Invasion (2017), Mokri consistently undermines any notion of narrative coherence and thus expands the view in an astonishing and effective way. pj

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