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Iranian filmmaker Mehran Tamadon has won the 36th Cinéma du Réel Grand Prize for his film Iranien:
The filmmaker, an Iranian atheist living in France, invites three religious people to live in his family home. His purpose is to see how life in their shared living room can lead to the first rules of co-existence.
“I’m an Iranian who doesn’t think like them and I tell them so”: from 2010 to 2012, Mehran Tamadon, who lives in France, returns to his family home near Teheran to debate with the “defenders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”. Rearranged for the occasion, the living room is to serve as a shared space where he, the atheist, and three believers will live together on the basis of a commonly agreed constitution. Exhilarating to begin with, this arrangement resembles not so much a rhetorical trap as a family gathering or a psychoanalysis on a territory where many words — and parts of the human body — must not be unveiled. Cooking, lighting a fire, choosing framed photos to put in the library or listening to music: in the most commonplace materiality, it is the frontiers of a world that are being shifted inch by inch, in the painfully utopian hope that living together is possible — a microcosm where the house and the world can communicate. The epilogue recounts the project’s out-of-frame outcome, but the spatial and temporal frame of the film make this experience an unprecedented and heartrending exercise of political philosophy.
The festival featured forty films from twenty-six countries. The grand prize awards Tamadon with €8,000.
The film was also shown at the 64th Berlinale Film Festival. You can read The Hollywood Reporter‘s review of the documentary here.[source: Cinéma du Réel]