Previously at the ICA - Films

Mohammad Rasoulof, Manuscripts Don't Burn, 2013

Manuscripts Don't Burn

12 Sep 201418 Sep 2014

'Harrowing, defiant [and] crafted with that humane and observational mastery of great Iranian cinema of recent decades.' Village Voice
★★★★ 'Brilliant.' The Arts Desk

Subject of a 20 year ban on filmmaking imposed on him, along with Jafar Panahi, by the Iranian authorities, Mohammad Rasoulof has responded to this attempt to silence him with a defiant, directly political film. Taking place during a single day in and around a wintry Tehran, Manuscripts Don’t Burn revolves around the attempts by two low-level state officials to cover up a state-sponsored atrocity involving a number of dissident intellectuals from a number of years back.

Gripping with quiet, thriller-like assurance, the movie probes the reasons and continued legacy of this bloody event and provides a sombre snapshot of a wider culture of corruption and repression. The style is low key and unadorned, but the atmosphere is charged with a raw, electrifying anger. With much of the film clandestinely shot in Iran, the bulk of the cast and crew remain anonymous to protect them from the attention of the Iranian authorities.

The title of the film refers to a much quoted passage from Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.

Manuscripts Don't Burn, dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran 2013, 125 mins

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