“My work has two strands: the first one deals with direct political images of violence, aggression and protest, mostly in Israeli-Palestinian context. It’s critique of news media, researching the complex, both realistic and surrealistic aspects of these images. The second strand of videos is more abstract and universal, dealing with cognitive, environmental and existential issues,” says the director about his works.
Thicker Than Paint Thinner
2011 / Netherlands / 29 min
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Hossein, a former drug addict with a personality disorder, took part in an arson attack on a cinema in which almost 400 people died. This took place in Iran in 1979, a few months before the Revolution, and was a delirious attempt to participate in the uprising that was already underway. Once the new regime was in place, Hossein pleaded guilty and asked to be judged and punished, but he was met only with indifference, and the case was closed without any follow-up. What is more, the film being projected in the cinema when it was set on fire dealt with the redemption of a character called Seyyed, himself a former drug addict, who becomes a revolutionary and is shot dead during a confrontation with police, thus making amends for his past faults. In a very sober reconstruction, in the confinement of a room where Hossein is faced with images of Seyyed on television, Afrassiabi Babak uses the actual confessions of the pyromaniac and attempts to recreate the links between the two characters (one is real, the other fictional, one is lost, the other redeemed) in order to try to paint an unusual portrait of this moment in History which every one of us is invited to enter. Sparing none of the complexities that such a crazed cross-over inevitably produces, Babak presents a compact film of contracted duration, without the thinner referred to in the title.
|Dir. of Photography||Clair Pijmans|