“Shab, Dakheli, Divar” (Beyond the Wall) Photocall – 79th Venice International Film Festival

The first images – the jagged editing is Jalilvand’s own – are of a man, Ali, making a messy, harrowing attempt at suicide in the shower of what appears to be a jail cell. In fact, the setting is then revealed to be his run-down, unwelcoming apartment. Almost entirely blind – following an accident, we soon realise – Ali, played by Navid Mohammadzadeh from No Date…, lives a bleak solitary existence, but receives the occasional visitor. One is Dr Nariman (Amir Aghaee), a brusque but friendly medic who treats his eyes; another, less welcome, is the nosy, intrusive building manager (Danial Kheirikhah) who tries to persuade a taciturnly defiant Ali to join a residents’ meeting.

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September 8, 2022 | 6:38 pm