And outside the frame, as at first happens in Mahmood Rahmani's documentary MOLF-E-GAND (2009; January 26 at 3:30 pm), which opens with voices heard over a black screen. The filmmaker is interviewing a man named Mohammad who insists that only his voice be recorded because he does not feel safe being filmed. But the director starts the camera rolling nonetheless, and what follows is reputed to be the longest single shot in Iranian cinema, a fascinating, often funny Spalding Gray–like monologue about Mohammad's experiences as a child during the Iran-Iraq War. As Mohammad digresses with comical asides about his family and indulges in uncanny imitations of exploding rockets and anti-aircraft fire, you wonder, can being bombed by the Iraqi air force be this much fun?
As it turns out, no. But as traumatic as the story itself proves, the paranoia of the storyteller, who's in a constant state of fear that someone will find out what he's doing, is even more disturbing. What is so objectionable about his relating his experience? Does he see it in a way that differs from the official version? The film's title is the term Mohammad uses to describe his "sixth sense," his ability to see what's going on even before it happens. A dangerous talent to have in a country where telling the truth is tantamount to treason.
, Iran, Museum of Fine Arts, Jafar Panahi, More