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'Empty Web' review: Impressive premiere's gritty Iranian thump about an economically desperate man

The gritty neo-realism perfectly suited to the peak of the Iranian New Wave, marked by Kongnet (Leere Netze ) An impressive feature debut from Iranian-German filmmaker Behrooz Karamizade. Premiering at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival , the drama tells the story of a financially impoverished twenty-something struggling to earn money to marry his girlfriend. Long-lasting impact.

When we meet Amir (Hamid Reza Abbasi), he is deeply in love with the sea, and in early scenes he looks like a dolphin Playing just as mischievously, and his girlfriend Nargis (a radiant Sadaf Asgari) apparently shares his feelings. He also showed he was a young man of integrity when he lost his restaurant job after speaking out against his boss’s decision to cancel the wedding at the last minute due to unpaid fees.

Empty net

Bottom line Socially conscious neorealism at its best.

Venue : Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Crystal Ball Competition)

: Hamid Reza Abbasi, Sadaf Asgari, Kiwan Mohammadi, Panteya Panasiha, Ali Bagheri , Behzad Dorani, Mehda Bakhshi, Mojitaba Bahmani, Ali Mohsenni
director and screenwriter

: Behrooz Karamizade

1 hour 41 minutes

Nargos comes from an upper class family, she works in a bakery and often gives Amir brings snacks. This creates a problem as her parents expect Amir to provide their daughter with a large sum of money. Even his single mother (Pantea Panahihia) tries to dissuade him from getting married. Due to the difficult financial environment in the region, Amir was unable to find a local job, and he could only accept work in a fishing farm far from the northern coast of the Caspian Sea, thus requiring a long-term separation from Nargis.

It was clear from his arrival that the fishery was a shady operation and its owners demanded that Amir pay for food and meals in advance. As fishing nets suck up vast amounts of plastic and other trash out of the sea along with the fish, Amir has been blamed for trying to dispose of them properly. He was instructed to throw it back into the sea because it was already full of rubbish. Then, when he got his first paycheck, he discovered more money was being withheld.

Still, with his superb swimming abilities, he excels at his job and even makes some money. Compete in an eel gamble contest for extra cash. When he discovers that the fishery is poaching endangered sturgeon and is involved in the black market caviar trade, he volunteers to get involved, despite the dangerous underwater work involved. (Note that this video includes footage of fish being eviscerated for their eggs, which may make you never eat caviar again.)

When Amir discovers Nargis’ father sends her to meet a wealthy young man in hopes of an arranged marriage. So despite Amir’s initial reservations, he agrees to smuggle a colleague (Kevian Mohammadi) out of the country in a small boat in highly dangerous weather conditions.

Lead actor Abbasi conveys this powerfully: Amir’s gradual transformation from a relaxed, morally upright young man to a bride who is desperate to not lose the bride he wants at all costs people.

Along the way, writer-director Karamizad offers a vivid sociological portrait of the country’s dire financial environment, including rampant corruption and high unemployment, forcing people to take extreme measures. measures to survive. Veteran Iranian DP Ashkan Ashkani’s masterful sombre, sombre cinematography adds greatly to the film’s depressing atmosphere, as does the realistic depiction of the brutally difficult conditions under which Amir works. Depressing atmosphere. The film grows darker and darker both visually and figuratively, as those overly allegorical fishing nets, which at one point pull in a corpse, seem to be devouring the struggling protagonist.

“Empty Web” becomes especially moving in its portrayal of the growing tension between two young lovers as Gnar Keith is disenchanted with the man Amir is becoming. It makes the film powerful.

41 Full Credits41

Venue: Karlovy Vary International Airport Film Festival (Crystal Ball Competition)

Production companies: BASIS Berlin Filmproduktion, Living Picture Productions, Rainy Picutres, ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel

Cast: Hamid Reza Abbasi, Sadaf Asgari, Kiwan Mohammad Dee, Panteya Panashikha, Ali Bagheri, Bezad Dorani, Mehdad Bakhshi, Mojitaba Bahmani, Ali Mohsenni

Director and Screenwriter: Behruz Karamizad Producers: Eva Kemme, Ansgar Frerich, Ushci Feldges Director of Photography: Ashkan Ashkani

Production & Costume Designer: Shahram Karimi Music: Johann Guttler, Jan Misel

Editor: Anne Juman

Casting: Sanaz Ghotb 1 hour41 minutes 41 THR Newsletter

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