fallen/legen blog

Dienstagsfilm – The Hunter (Zeit des Zorns / Shekarchi)

von Mario Wimmer

Dienstagsfilm – Within this category we would like to recommend one movie a week to you, one movie that we consider special and inspiring, one movie that we think you might enjoy to watch on a cosy evening in front fo your DVD player.

We traveled on, but we did not get far. We are now in a country that appears even stranger to us than the Lebanon did, stranger because we tend to know even less about it. And that despite the fact that you could call this country by no means underrepresented in regard to its appearances in our daily diet of carefully selected information. Only, whenever the Iran becomes a topic in our daily news flow, it is rarely the country, its landscapes or peoples, that are depicted, it is the same handful of stereotypes that is repeated again and again. The same bunch of men with inexplicable beards and even more inexplicable views, turbines rotating in some remote facility or rockets crossing a blue sky. If you follow these pictures Iran sometimes might seem like the ultimate incarnation of every menace you could think of while in fact it pretty much is a country as ordinary as every other country.

But as in every other ordinary country this country too holds the potential for rather unordinary stories, like the one of Ali. Despite the fact, that he, being a guard at a teheranian factory and, because of his past as a political prisoner, having to always work the night shifts and therefore seeing his wife and kid only very seldom, Ali leads a happy life. Until one day he returns from work, finding that his wife and kid did not return home that day. After a couple of days of desperate search and obsequious inquiry at the local police station, he is told that both of them died in a shootout between police forces and “armed troublemakers”. In a desperate attempt to seek revenge on those being responsible for the death of his beloved he kills two random policemen with his hunting rifle and then flees to the woods in the north, where he used to go hunting. But of course the police is already on his tracks…

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What does not make “The Hunter” a great movie are not its actors that are quite restricted in their acting, it is neither its narrative, a man against the state, a man against injustice, a man taking revenge, well, maybe it is a little bit this revenge that is never justified in its random choice of its objects, but in the end the narrative is neither especially new nor brilliantly told, nor the dramatization that seems to aim at the full elimination of all dramatic moments through its constant deescalation. What makes “The Hunter” special is simply that it takes place in Iran, that it shows you Iran, its landscapes, its deep, green woods hanging full of heavy mist and in contrast to that the seven million people mega-city that Teheran is, its skyline and vast highways. By mere accident, while telling a story that in its self is quite unordinary you get a small glimpse into the ordinary live of Iranians, you get to know people as ordinary as you and me. The other is not the evil, the menace, the anti-thesis, the other is ultimately ordinary and in this common commonness the artificial opposition between the self and the other gets dissolved.

The Hunter (Zeit des Zorns) | Rafi Pitts | Rafi Pitts, Mitra Hajjar, Saba Yaghoobi | 2010 | Aftab Negaran Productions, Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA) | imdb, Wikipedia

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