When one tiny element is removed from a bridge, the entire structure collapses. Mania Akbari—an Iranian artist who is a master of precise, minimalistic gestures that can cause shockwaves—knows just how to use this decisive detail to show that our thinking is constrained. She discusses her relationship with artist Douglas White, which began in 2013, first in the convention of a dialogue, an exchange of experiences from their separate residences in Iran and Australia, and gradually transforming into a face-to-face relationship with a shared life in London. Their exchange of letters is a pretext for meditations on loss and hope. A bat’s corpse is reminiscent of browned bananas. The skin and bones of a dead elephant are a tent for animals. Women protesting on the streets of Tehran are living monuments to resistance. The digressive, poetic narrative of the film doesn’t lose sight of the main subject, i.e., how a woman has to get used to her own body again following a mastectomy—without sentimentality, narcissism or exhibitionism. A story about intimacy and art with no ideology or idealization. Akbari hides and reveals exactly what needs to be hidden and revealed.
An Iranian director and actress, Mania Akbari is named after Marie Curie, who, in the home of Akbari's parents (one is a professor of physics, the other of chemistry), was considered a great authority. With her artistic talent, Mania did not enter into a scientific career, although she did write her first novel when she was only 14 years old. She later studied painting and, in 2000, became interested in film. She started out as a cinematographer and assistant director before playing the lead role in Abbas Kiarostami’ s film 10. Akbari is known for breaking the customary taboos that Iranian women are bound by, both in private and on the big screen. In addition to directing films, Mania Akbari is also involved in art and photography, and her works have been exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, among other places. Her documentary Life May Be, filmed together with Mark Cousins, was screened at the New Horizons Festival in 2015. A year later, she was part of the festival jury.
2004 20 palców / 20 Fingers
2011 Raz. Dwa. Raz. / Yek. Do. Yek
2012 In My Country Men Have Breast (short)
2013 From Teheran to London
2014 Być może życie / Life May Be