Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Hunter

Film director Rafi Pitts latest film is not a patch on his previous award nominated movie Its Winter (2006) this deeply moving piece of character driven cinema told the story of a man who leaves his wife and daughter in Tehran to search for work abroad. Months pass and the family hear no word from him. Meanwhile a stranger arrives in town also in search of work, whose eye is taken by the beautiful young woman whom he hears no longer has a husband. Made with non-actors and described by Pitt as neo-realism the film stays with you for a long while.

Rafi Pitts
Iranian born Pitts latest offering The Hunter (2010) illustrates how a person can be greatly affected by his political surroundings and a life-shattering event. Ali Alavi (played by Pitts) is a former prisoner (we are not told why he was locked up) who is forced to work as a night watchman because of his criminal record. This keeps him from spending time with his wife Mitra and his six-year old daughter Saba. Returning home from work one morning he finds his family missing. After spending hours in an uncaring police station he discovers that his wife and eventually his daughter, have been killed in crossfire between insurgents and the police. The grief stricken Ali looses control and shoots two police patrolmen with his hunting rifle as they drive a long the main thoroughfare into Tehran. Going on the run and ending up in the dense forest where he previously went hunting he is pursued by two very dissimilar policemen.

Tehran Freeway
In a political sense it’s a meaningful film with background political rhetoric broadcast over our protagonist’s car radio and implied governmental pressure on the Iranian citizens, but as pure entertainment its sadly lacking. The pace of the movie is very slow, with a distinctly sluggish narrative and no satisfying pay of at the conclusion of the movie.

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