Iran/Germany/Czech Republic, 2020, 150 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Not Rated, Farsi with English subtitles, Kino Lorber
"Pulses with humor, romance and life. [Director Mohammad] Rasoulof has turned filmmaking into an act of resistance… every tale breathes." —Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
"A major work of Iranian cinema. An enraging, enthralling, enduring testament to the oppressed." —Ed Frankl, The Film Stage
Working in defiance of a lifelong ban on filmmaking, dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof delivers a piercing drama about a subject he knows well: the costs of living under a repressive, brutal government. Winner of the Golden Bear, the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, There Is No Evil is a film in four chapters, each telling a different story related to the death penalty in contemporary Iran. The first story concerns a family man who, as we come to see, pays a grave moral price for his comfortable middle-class life. The second and third chapters focus on conscripted soldiers – in Iran, it is often these men who are forced to perform executions – and both segments explore the tension and turmoil that can come with such harsh coercion. The final section involves a family secret, which brings the film to its powerful conclusion. Suspenseful, mysterious, and shot through with a sense of urgency, Rasoulof's work bears the mark of an artist who sets his own terms – and who knows just how to captivate an audience.
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