Despite the holiday season, we keep bringing you new documentaries that can travel with you anywhere you go. Each week, acquisitions manager Diana Tabakov selects them carefully for you, searching for them on the websites of festival catalogues and in dark video libraries. Learn more about her job!
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|