This Iranian ballad garnered three awards at the last Venice Film Festival. Lotfollah (Ali Bagheri known from Mani Haghighi's films) pushes a cart carrying ice through the harsh desert landscape. He’s worked 40 years at the brick factory located in the Persian provinces. When he arrives at the destination, he gets an order from the owner to gather all the employees who has something to tell them. He begins a speech, which is, in a way, the film's refrain, returning steadily between scenes showing the lives of the plant's staff. Lotfollah, as its manager, is involved in virtually all matters: arguments, love, and secrets. However, the paramount element of the movie is the rhythm and mood of this land - the camera slowly reveals its discreet beauty, but also the hellish nature of local life, which turns out to be far more complicated than you might imagine. Director Ahmad Bahrami balances between realism and allegory, using tight frames, black and white photos and cleansing the image of many contemporary artifacts.
Ahmad Bahrami (b. 1972) is an Iranian director, screenwriter and actor born in Shahrir. In 2010 he took part in film workshops led by Abbas Kiarostami and considers Béla Tarr his guru. In 2017, he made his full-length debut, Panah, and returned three years with The Wasteland, which screened at Venice Film Festival and won Best Film in the Orizzonti section, the FIPRESCI prize and the FAI foundation award.
2020 Ziemia jałowa / Dashte khamoush / The Wasteland