The Festival de Cannes 2013 presented today “The Past” by Iranian film director and screenwriter Asghar Farhadi – Golden Bear winner at Berlin – featuring Bérénice Bejo et Tahar Rahim in the main roles, and “A Touch Of Sin”, a film by Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke, a Venise Golden Lion winner.
“The Past” by Iranian film director and screenwriter Asghar Farhadi.
Ahmad arrives in Paris from Tehran to formalise his divorce because he’s been living separated from his French wife for four years and now she wants to remarry. But the man she wants to marry is still married to another in a coma after a suicide attempt.
For Asghar Farhadi, the idea of coma is associated with an in-between, a doubt: this person should be considered dead or is it alive? An idea that the border was crossed, sometimes with no return.
During his stay, Ahmad discovers the adversarial relationship that Mary – Berenice Béjo – is engaged in with her daughter, Lucie. Ahmad’s efforts to try to improve this relationship will make him discover a secret from the past. In the film Ahmad becomes a kind of catalyst, a person who puts others in measures to express themselves and brings out the words that have not been said for a long time
In “The Past”, the filmmaker worked on a doubt: should we respect a certain loyalty to the past or give it up to open up to the future? Life today may bring us to go ahead and ignore the past. But its shadow continues to weigh on us and take us back.
Asghar Farhadi studied at the Youth Cinema Society of Esfahan in 1986 where he made 8mm and 16mm short films. His most known film “A Propos d’Elly” (2009) won the Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin as well as Best Picture at Tribeca Film Festival.
“A Touch Of Sin”, a film by Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke
Four characters in four provinces suffer hardships they no longer stand. Dahai is a minor exasperated by the corruption of the leaders of his village. One day he decides to take action. San’er, a migrant worker, discovers that his gun opens up endless possibilities. Xiaoyu, receptionist in a sauna, is pushed to end the harassment of a wealthy client. About Xiaohui, he refuses to move from one job to another under more and more degrading conditions.
Four stories depict a single reflection of contemporary China: that of a society in brutal, because too fast, economic development, disrespectful of human conditions and gradually plagued by violence as a means of communication by default. The rapid transformation of China has been made in favor of certain regions, including cities like Shanghai, but also at the expense of others. In this society of capitalism hidden under failed communism, weakened by corruption, the gap between rich and poor is more and more widening. People are depressed because they are constantly confronted with examples of wealth that seems unattainable but also with a blatant social injustice. To write the screenplay, Jia Zhang-Ke went to the scene of violent incidents – where violence would not have been used had there been a better communication between people. He also was inspired by the narrative form of “The Boar Forest”, a Peking opera filmed in 1962 by Chen and Cui Wei Huaikai.
Jia Zhang-Ke studied at the Beijing Film Academy and shot his first film, “Xiao Wu, Artisan Pickpocket” in 1998. In 2006, his film “Still Life” wins the Golden Lion at Venice Festival.
The Past Red Carpet