Castle of Dreams
Iran. 2019. 86 min
Newly released from prison, Jalal is a cruel and combative man who’s still apparently involved in shady dealings that threaten him at every turn. He hasn’t seen his seriously ill wife or their two children for three years, and when he finally reappears, it’s only to make a grab for her assets; he has no intention of returning to the family.
But his sister-in-law insists that she can no longer care for adorable, pigtailed moppet Sara or the serious, silent Ali, so the reluctant father embarks on a road trip of sorts through the mountainous Iranian countryside with his children and his girlfriend, who somehow manages to put up with his constant rebukes and insults. And ever so slowly, the reasons Jalal is the way he is come into focus.
Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi’s subtly rendered, moving drama about the obligations and emotional burdens of fatherhood took home awards for best film, director, and actor at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival.
Reza Mirkarimi (born 27 January 1967) is an Iranian film writer and director. He graduated from Fine Arts University in graphic arts in Tehran. His cinema activities started from 1987 with a short film named For Him and with a series of shorts followed by two TV series aimed at young people. His 1999 first feature, The Child and The Soldier, has won several national and international awards, including the ”Golden Butterfly” at the 1999 Isfahan International Children and Youth Film Festival, Iran and the “Montgolfiere d’Argent” at the Festival of 3 Continents, Nantes, France. In 2000, his second feature, Under the Moonlight, dealing with social and religious issues won the Best Feature Award at the 40th Critics’ Week at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival. The film also won the Best Director’s Award as well as the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo IFF in 2001, and the Golden Peacock Award at the International Film Festival of India.
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