SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
‘Disappearance’ the first feature film of Iranian director Ali Asgari, was a huge step in the direction of feature films after having seven short films to his credit. And even more challenging was the fact that he made a film based on a true incident, as he was quite excellent at making films in fiction. “This is a true incident that happened to one of the friends of my co-writer. It wasn’t exact the same one; we’ve added a little fiction. However, the basic story is a true incident.”
‘Disappearance’ is the story of a young couple in modern Tehran. They run into a serious problem and have just a couple of hours to devise a solution. They go from hospital to hospital in search of help but no hospital was willing to admit the young woman to provide her with the medical attention she desperately needs. Besides, they have to hide what is happening from their parents. Their relationship is facing a crisis and will suffer dire consequences if it is not resolved.
‘Disappearance’ has an open ending; speaking about this aspect Asgari says: “The story ends in a way with its open ending. Actually the whole film is an act of disappearance for the boy and the girl. Right from the beginning they are disappearing from the lives of many characters in the movie. So, the ending supports as a metaphor for the entire story.”
Asgari believes that films with an open ending are meant for the audience to participate in the film and its end. “People’s variant perspectives are important to an open ending film,” he says.
Throughout the film, the camera follows the couple either from behind or from front. There are less cut-to-cut scenes in this movie. The director says that the camera acts like a witness to the incident. “Camera acts like an audience who is a witness. This represents that throughout the movie, audience is following the film.”
The movie is not yet premiered in Iran due to certain censorship issues. The film won the best actress award at the Fiumicino Film Festival, Italy. Besides, it was premiered at film festivals at Venice and Toronto.
Asgari says: “This experience is one-of-its-kind. I’m here at IFFI for the first time, and I feel great as my first feature film is premiered here in India.”
Comparing Iranian and Indian films, Asgari rightly notes that Indian films are musical with a lot of music, songs and dance; on the contrary Iranian films are comparatively calmer. “I haven’t seen much of experimental Indian films. However, Indian film ‘Court’ turned out to be in the list of my favourites,” concludes Asgari.