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Iranian drama breaks hearts at Berlin fest
2009-02-07 09:34:52

'About Elly' tells story of Iranian who seeks fresh start after divorcing German wife, but events take tragic turn.

The Nation Press -

BERLIN - An Iranian drama about an emigre who returns home looking for love joined the hunt for the Golden Bear for best picture at the 59th Berlin Film Festival Saturday 2-7-2009.

"About Elly" by 36-year-old Asghar Farhadi tells the story of Ahmad, who has divorced his German wife after years living in Europe and takes a trip to the Caspian Sea to make a fresh start.

His friends, a group of fellow 30-somethings, invite the beautiful kindergarten teacher Elly along on the trip in a thinly veiled attempt at matchmaking.

But the getaway takes a tragic turn when Elly vanishes from the beach, exposing hidden tension within the group and a unique kind of love triangle.

Farhadi's last film, the drama "Fireworks Wednesday", was a hit on the international festival circuit. "About Elly" was to premiere in Berlin and Tehran Saturday tonight.

He told reporters in Berlin that while the film sheds light on the dynamic between the sexes in today's Iran, the emotions it stirs could appeal to viewers outside.

"I wanted to make a story that was universal -- one that everyone could connect with, not just contemporary Iranians," he said.

"To my mind, these kinds of problems can be found everywhere. I've tried to go below the tip of the iceberg, beneath the surface of the water to see where they are coming from."

Farhadi said he had based the story on a friend living in the northern German city of Hamburg who was trapped in an unhappy marriage.

The strong cast features Golshifteh Farahani who was last seen in the spy thriller "Body of Lies" with Leonardo DiCaprio.

"Our work with Mr Fahradi was a sort of a workshop," Farahani said, adding that the picture was based on significant improvisation.

"It was a sort of a collaboration and a partnership."

The Golden Bear will be awarded February 14 by a jury led by Scottish actress Tilda Swinton. The 11-day festival wraps up the next day.

Source : Thenation press servecis
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