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UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema: There is No Evil

A man and a woman leaning against a car in an empty, hilly landscape.
May 14, 2021 - 12:00 am to June 10, 2021 - 11:59 pm

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Admission is $12. There is No Evil will be available for streaming on the Kino Marquee platform beginning Friday, May 14 through Thursday, June 10. A portion of your purchase will support the Archive’s public programs.

There is No Evil

Sheytan vojud nadarad

Germany/Iran/Czech Republic, 2020

As ironic titles go, There is No Evil is a hall of fame contender. The evil in question is state-sponsored violence in the form of capital punishment and the brilliance of the title—indeed the whole film—is how writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof approaches it as the suppressed, structuring absence of Iranian society. To be sure, the always direct and provocative Rasoulof does not shy away from the brutality of the act itself. Indeed, the moment when it is depicted on-screen is one of the most shocking in recent cinema both for its horror and the banality that surrounds it. This banality, its sudden disruption and the moral reckoning that comes crashing in form the thematic and rhythmic connection between the four vignettes that make up the film. A father rushing about Tehran on his daily domestic routine, a soldier on the run and another on leave visiting his girlfriend, and a daughter returning to Iran to visit the father she never knew. Rasoulof brings his penetrating realism to bear on each along with our conscience.

Color, in Persian and German with English subtitles, 151 min. Director: Mohammad Rasoulof. Screenwriter: Mohammad Rasoulof. Cast: Ehsan Mirhossein, Mohammad Seddighimehr, Mahtab Servati. 

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