A Complicated Event \ Danesh Mehrzad Review of “A Call to A Father”
29 April 2018 - 14:55
A message to Father, at first look, reminds us of the famous Iranian new wave film, a simple event (Sohrab Shahidsaless, 1352): a naughty boy that has to live with a careless father in the absence of his mother. But Serik Oprimov has created a more dramatic situation that somewhat accelerates the structure, and the static rhythm of his film. The most dramatic aspect of the film is the mother’s pivotal role; a woman whose harsh behaviour towards her dull boy makes her look tyrannical and cruel while she is, in fact, a victim of life’s difficult circumstance, poverty and neglect. When the mother’s sole emotional supporter – her eldest son – dies, she loses her will to live. Although her absence means less severity for the younger boy, it also leads to an internal collapse in the family – in a perhaps symbolic reference to the process that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, engulfed many parts of Russia and its newly independent republics. The dictatorship of the proletariat gave way to confusion and a lack of a strong national identity. The film’s references to that time within the story reinforce this proposition.