Culture And Media

Italy: Iranian director makes debut at Venice Film Festival

Venice, 29 August(AKI) - The Iranian film, "Khastegi", is one of the two surprise films selected by the Venice Film Festival to be screened at the 56th annual festival this year.

The film which means "Tedium", is the first full-length feature produced by Iranian theatre director, Bahman Motamedian.

It had its world premiere at the festival which opened on Wednesday.

Bahman Motamedian is best known in Iran as a theatre director, writer and photographer. His controversial film focuses on transsexuals and their problems in Iran.

"Making a film about transsexuals and their problems in Iran was a difficult task," the 39-year-old Motamedian said. "It became something of a challenge, as I could see myself more as a fighter than as a filmmaker."

The film focuses on the lives seven Iranian transsexuals and fragments, often dramatic, of their daily lives in Tehran under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad has said homosexuals "do not exist in the Islamic republic" and Ayatollah Rouhollah Mussawi Khomeini issued a fatwa or religious edict against sex change.

"I decided to do a film about transsexuals, because everything that is grey, rather than white, interests me," said Barman Motamedian, in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

"Often we get lost in bipolar systems, white and black, good and bad, while the reality is far more grey than what we think and for this the world of transsexuals fascinated me to the point of making a film about this phenomenon," the director said.

"For me it was very important to push issues like the identity which physically defines you to a sex and inside to another.

"My actors are tired of living in a body to which they don't belong, but also tired of fighting to leave that body," he said, referring to the film's title.

"The actors of my film are tired of and exhausted because cultural traditions stop them from freeing themselves from their distress. Several are ready to sacrifice everything, even their freedom to seek refuge in a new body, while for others it is difficult to abandon that for something that they don't know."




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