Previously at the ICA - Films
4 Nov 2017
This screening will be introduced by Azadeh Fatehrad and Nikolaus Perneczky, curators of Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles
Shot in a mere 13 days with a cast of lay actors recruited from the streets of Kreuzberg, this trenchant exposé of the life of a Turkish guest worker in 1970s Berlin is an urgent, uncompromising piece of filmmaking that feels as hopeless and desperate today as it did then. Shahid Saless's regular director of photography Ramin Reza Molai captures the isolation of the guest worker, named Husseyn, with long, deep-focus takes that reach down endless streets. The only refuge is a sparse flat that Husseyn shares with other guest workers, where they gather to eat, sing, play backgammon – or simply exist.
The visionary filmmaker Sohrab Shahid Saless (1944-1998) was one of the great exiles of world cinema. A seminal figure of the Iranian New Wave, Shahid Saless moved to West Germany in the mid-1970s where this self-described 'guest worker' created an unparalleled body of work for cinema and television. In meditative but searing images of everyday life, his slow-paced films tell simple stories that speak forcefully to the traumas of homelessness and displacement. They are more urgent than ever today.
This screening is a prelude to Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles, a season taking place at Goethe-Institut London and Close-Up from 9 November 2017–19 January 2018. For more details please visit the Goethe-Institut website
Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles is curated by Dr Azadeh Fatehrad and Nikolaus Perneczky in partnership with the Goethe-Institut London and in collaboration with the Munich Film Museum.
With support from the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre, Kingston University (London), Iran Heritage Foundation (London) and Arts Council England
Far From Home (Dar gorbat aka In der Fremde), dir. Sohrab Shahid Saless, Iran/West Germany 1975, 91 min, 16mm, Turkish and German with English subtitles