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Iran, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Journey to Iran)

Director: Farhad Mehranfar

Following Farhad Mehranfar's Paper Airplanes (also screening as part of Journey to Iran), the filmmaker returned to the region of his birth for a cinematic study of a timeless community of people. His crew and cam­eras enter the enchanting mountains of Talesh, where he finds old clans living in snow-draped forests.

Semi-documentary, semi-fictional, Mehranfar builds a narrative, a love story, around these people. The story of a child born in winter—when men turn the snow crimson with the blood of deer—evolves in an organic, exploratory manner. The child's mother recites the love story of Spring, a story of the mystery of the colours: flowers, fabrics, fields. Meanwhile, the father's restless life eventually finds resolution in the acceptance of death, the acceptance of the Winter.

The Tree of Life takes the simple structure of the four seasons and weaves a spectacular story, told In the ritu­als celebrations, tribal practices and relationships of the mountain people. Colour, landscape and faces take prece­dence in the frame, Nader Massoomi's almost unbeliev­able cinematography capturing rare sights and scenes in a surreal amalgam of fantasy and daily life.

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