Still Life - Tabiate bijan
Directed by Sohrab Shahid Saless
Starring Zadour Bonyadi
Imagine doing the same job your whole life, day in day out.
Mohammed Sardari, railway employee for 33 years, lives in the middle of nowhere with his wife in accommodation thats been provided with the job. Every time a train passes, day or night he has to be there to lower and raise the barriers for the crossroad.
A desolate lonely life for this husband and wife, she weaves rugs all day while the only outside conversations he has are with the little railway trucks that deliver food etc, and these tend to last about a minute.
One day he is given a letter notifying him of his imminent retirement, this is obviously beyond his comprehension and something that has never even crossed his mind!
This is the crux of this very minimalistic study, when you give your life to something, maybe someone and suddenly your not needed/wanted, youve past your sell by date, theyve had the best years of your life and now your being put out to pasture, how would you feel, where do you go, what do you do?
As the film finished you cant help but wonder, what becomes of Mohammed and his wife as they pack their meagre belongings onto a wagon!
If you enjoy the minimalist approach, sparse dialogue etc then you will really appreciate this film. It certainly makes you realise how dispensable we all are.
A minimalist masterpiece, highly recommended for those with patiance.
BBFC rating PG
Shown as part of the CinemaIran season on Channel 4 in the UK.