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Iran, 1990 (MIFF 2003, Abbas Kiarostami – Iranian Master)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

"Werner Herzog calls this 'the greatest documentary on filmmaking I have ever seen.' Much stranger than fiction, Close-Up recounts the bizarre case of Hosem Sabzian, a frustrated film buff who pretended to be well-know director Moshen Makhmalbaf. Under the guise of preparing a new project, the imposter became intimate with the Ahkankhaha, a well-to-do but naive family. His ruse, however was soon discovered, and an ambitious magazine reporter characterized Sabzian as a dangerous conman.

"Kiarostami obtained permission to film Sabzian's trial and afterwards persuaded all involved (except the journalist) to recreate the event. Poignant, compelling and frequently humorous, Close-Up works on many levels. It documents the vulnerable nature of the human ego, highlighting every person's need for recognition and high self-esteem. Its mix of cinema-verite and re-enactment underscores the subjective nature of the 'filmed touch'. Moreover the issues of employment and poverty, which emerge at Sabzian's trial, render the film a subtle societal critique. Ironically, Close-Up also fulfils the dreams of both Sabzian and the family he duped—allowing them to be in the movies at last."—San Fransisco Film Festival

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Awarded the Rossellini Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, this latest achieve­ment by one of Iran's foremost filmmakers takes us to the aftermath of the devastating 1990 earthquakes in ... More »

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