Feature film ‘Israfil’ has hit Iranian domestic home entertainment market.
Directed by Ida Panahandeh, the highly-anticipated feature is a meticulously constructed reflection on lost love, loneliness and life choices, viewed through the prism of three intersecting lives.
The 100-minute film starts with a fight that erupts at the funeral of Mahi’s young son – a successful wrestler who died suddenly in a car crash. Behrouz, a figure from Mahi’s past, has turned up to pay his respects.
An unexpected and unwelcome guest has returned after two decades in exile to sell his land and meet fiancée Sara for the first time. Having spent a lifetime caring for her disabled mother, Sara is at odds with her brother about how to care for their mother and determined to take a step towards enjoying a life of her own. But Mahi and Behrouz’s reunion stirs up a painful past.
Panahandeh sensitively articulates the reasons why their young love wasn’t allowed to flourish and brings into focus its long-term repercussions.
The flick features Pejman Bazeghi, Hedieh Tehrani, Merila Zarei and Hoda Zeinolabedin.
‘Israfil’ was screened at the BFI London film festival in the UK, the UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema in the US, the MAXXI museum in Italy, the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, the Festival International du Film d’Aubagne in France as well as the Filmmor Women’s Film Festival and the Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival, both in Turkey.
Panahandeh has won some international awards for her ‘Israfil’, including the NETPAC Award of the Iranian Film Festival Australia and two awards at the CineIran Festival in Canada.