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JOY OF MADNESS

Iran, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Homelands The Middle East in Focus)

Director: Hana Makhmalbaf

Joy of Madness (Lezate Divanegi) Iran

Joy of Madness is the remarkable debut feature of 15-year-old Hana Makhmalbaf, a 'making-of' documentary of At Five in the Afternoon, directed by Hana's older sister, Samira, and screening at this year's Festival. Both women form part of the Iranian Makhmalbaf filmmaking dynasty, led by father Moshen (The Afghan Alphabet, MIFF 2003) and mother Marziyeh Meshkini (The Day I Became a Woman).

The central motif of Joy of Madness is one common in Iranian filmmaking: cinema that interrogates itself. Following the tradition of Abbas Kiarostami's Close-Up (MIFF 2003) and her father's Salaam Cinema (MIFF 1996), Hana examines the elusive boundaries between reality and fiction. In 2002, Hana journeyed to Kabul with Samira, who was preparing to film At Five in the Afternoon. With a digital video camera, Hana captures the difficult casting process'residents are afraid to appear in the film'and the perils of shooting in Afghanistan just after the fall of the Taliban. Highlighting the aspirations of Afghani women, who mistrust the freedom they have recently acquired, Joy of Madness is incisive and revelatory.

D/S Hana Makhmalbaf P Moshen Makhmalbaf WS Wildbunch L Farsi w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/70mins

Hana Makhmalbaf was born in Tehran, Iran in 1988. Films include: The Day My Aunt was Ill (1997, short).

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