23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

Bitter Dream (Contemporary World Cinema)
2004 - Iran - 87 minutes

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DIRECTOR: Bitter Dream
CAST: Abbas Esfandiari, Delbar Ghasri, Mohsen Rahim

A darkly comic effort that emerges from within one of the world’s most vital cinematic cultures, this freshman effort from Mohsen Amiryoussefi manages to be at once mordantly hilarious, whimsical, smart, and simple. The action takes place in chief corpse washer Esfandiari’s sepulchral compound, and incorporates a ragtag cast comprised of a documentary television crew, an impetuous grave digger, a humble woman who’s seen her share of tragedy, the Angel of Death Azrael, and a lot of hysterical mourners. Having worked his way up the ladder to become the master corpse washer, Esfandiari readily accepts the prestige of his position. At night, he mostly just watches TV. But when death comes knocking at his own door, he is forced to reevaluate his existence. Eliciting remarkable, surprisingly heartfelt performances from a non-professional cast, Amiryoussefi affectionately toys with characteristic Iranian pessimism and his fellow citizens’ quarrelsome natures while exercising a mischievous visual wit. Mohsen Amiryoussefi was born in Abadan, Iran, in 1972. Amiryoussefi abandoned a career in math to focus on his passion for the cinema. Several of his shorts, including The Fine (’95) and Father and Son (’99), and Stony Hands (’00) preceded his first feature, Bitter Dream. –EC

PRODUCER: Mohsen Amiryoussefi, Rouhollah Baradari
SCREENWRITER: Mohsen Amiyoussefi
EDITOR: Mohsen Amiyoussefi
MUSIC: Choosed, Mohammad Reza Delpak

Sunday, April 03 3pm Crown Theaters Block E
Friday, April 08 7:30pm Lagoon Cinema
Sunday, April 10 7:30pm Lagoon Cinema
Wednesday, April 13 7:30pm St. Anthony Main Theatre
Thursday, April 21 7:00pm St. Anthony Main Theatre

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