Saeed Roustaee’s Leila’s Brothers tells the story of a women’s desperate efforts to lift her brothers and family out of poverty, away from a life of unemployment.
Cannes Film Festival 2022: Iranian director Saeed Roustaee makes his first steps in the Cannes Film Festival Competition with Leila’s Brothers, a drama about the tragic implosion of a family trying to escape poverty in a country worn down by international economic sanctions. Hirokazu Kore-eda, the Japanese filmmaker who won the 2018 Palme d’Or with Shoplifters, returns to the Croisette for the eighth time with the moving Broker, which once again focuses on the theme of family through babies abandoned in baby boxes in South Korea. After the 2021 closing film OSS 117: Red Alert in Black Africa and La Belle Époque, Nicolas Bedos presents Mascarade, starring Pierre Niney and Isabelle Adjani, out of competition.
The best family: the one we choose!
Hirokazu Kore-eda tells a moving story of a family that crystallizes around a small innocent being, an abandoned baby destined to be sold to an adoptive family. In South Korea, anonymous drop-off boxes collect babies abandoned by desperate mothers, which gives two accomplices the idea of baby trafficking. But the mother comes back and wants to take part in the sale… Broker shows that the best family is the one you choose!
Leila’s family drama
After Ali Abassi with Holy Spider, the young Iranian director Saeed Roustaee takes us into Iranian society, in Tehran this time, with Leila’s Brothers. This powerful family drama tells the story of a young woman’s struggle to lift her family out of poverty at all costs by proposing to her brothers that they combine their savings to buy a shop in a shopping centre. Unfortunately, Leila has to deal with the personal ambitions of her father and the lack of ambition of her brothers. Despite her efforts, the family is torn apart by an unprecedented economic crisis. The family finally reunites, but in a smell of smoke, the bitter scent of burnt dreams… Fortunately, the new generation is budding, swollen with the sap of promises of a better life.
Family business to get wealthy
Leila is in her forties and has an administrative job in a shopping centre. Her four brothers are struggling to make ends meet: one has been fired, another runs the mall’s toilets and gouges users, a third runs a car sales scam, and the last is unemployed… Leila comes up with the idea of setting up a family business that would save them from poverty: a shop is to be set up in the toilets run by one of the brothers. The siblings pool their savings to buy, but a large sum is still missing. Leila then discovers that their father has hidden their inheritance, kept as an offering to become the new godfather of the family clan, the highest honour in Persian tradition. Chaos ensues from this discovery and selfishness is exacerbated.
Women in the front line of life
Despite his youth, Saeed Roustaee, a native of Tehran, is emerging as a prodigy of Iranian cinema. Three years ago, he dazzled the film world with Just 6.5, which tells the story of the fight against drug trafficking in Iran. Selected in Venice, the film won the Grand Prix at Reims Polar 2021. With the economic situation as a backdrop, the director recalls the weight of tradition in his country’s patriarchal society and evokes the relative “liberation” of women who, forty years after the ayatollahs took power, must still remain in the shadow of men, struck by prohibitions. Yet, not subject to vanity like men, they are at the forefront of life in a changing country.
The Red Carpet of Elvis de Baz Luhrmann
Click to enlarge – ©YesICannes.com – All rights reserved