Moday 20.5. / 8 pm / Kinoteka Cinema

Critical Zone /

Iran/Germany, 2023, 99'
Director: Ali Ahmadzadeh · Screenplay: Ali Ahmadzadeh · Photography: Abbas Rahimi · Editing: Ali Ahmadzadeh, Ashkan Mehri · Production: Ali Ahmadzadeh, Sina Ataeian Dena (Counter Intuiitive Film) · Roles: Saba Bagheri, Mina Hasanloo, Alireza Keymanesh

Amir leads a lonely life. With his dog for sole company, he drives through the underworld of Tehran, dealing drugs of all kinds and healing troubled souls like a modern prophet. He navigates the city streets aimlessly, following the directions of his GPS while getting high to escape a town with no future. And yet, in his wandering he will find the seed of resistance. In this surreal road movie, filmed in secret and banned in Iran, Amir the dealer becomes an archetype, representing a society that has lost trust in any kind of political, religious, or moral authority. Trying to fill this void, Amir becomes an institution of sorts, an addled modern prophet for lost children of the night who turn to him in their despair. As the director himself states, “My films are mostly about the new generation and their life here in Iran, a life that is by its nature in constant conflict with the political power and the system. I wanted to show that the city is like a big mental institution so sometimes we had to hide the camera. This suspense during production gave the cast and crew a strong feeling of being rebel fighters and I got the most out of the adrenaline in our blood. In such an underground cinema every element should be used in the best possible way to balance out the limitations of the film. Making this film for us was a fight and a rebellion. Showing it to the world will make it become triumphant.”

*The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Ali Ahmadzadeh.

Awards and Festivals:

Locarno Fiilm Festival (2023) – Golden Leopard; Haifa IFF (2023) – Caramel Award; Nantes Three Continents Festival (2023) – Young Audience Award; Valladolid IFF (2023) – Special Mention for Best Feature Film; Tokyo FILMeX (2023) – Special Jury Prize; Batumi International ArtHouse Film Festival (2023) – Grand Prix; Belgrade Festival of Auteur Film (2023) – Grand Prix


Ali Ahmadzadeh is a writer, director and producer of three successful feature films that depict a faithful portrait of the younger generation in Iran and how they deal with life under oppression. He was born in Tehran in 1986. He studied architecture but his interest in music led him to graduate from the Neinava Music University. He later graduated in film direction from the Young Cinema Society. All of his films are banned in Iran.