A Simple Event

Born in 1944 in Iran, Sohrab Shahid Saless began his training as a filmmaker at the School of Film and Television in Vienna; he finished his film studies at IDHEC in Paris. He made more than 20 shorts and documentaries in Iran before making his first feature, A Simple Event, in 1973. Shot in ten days on a budget of approximately $40,000, A Simple Event won the Grand Prize at the Second Teheran Film Festival, and confirmed Saless as one of the leading talents in the New Iranian Cinema of the early seventies. His second Iranian feature, Still Life, is considered a classic, and has been shown several times at PFA. After a third film in Iran, Quarantine, Saless moved his filmmaking base to Berlin, where he made Far from Home (In Der Fremde, 1975), Time of Maturing (Reifezeit, 1976), and Diary of a Lover (Tagebuch Eines Liebenden, 1977) - all critical successes featured at many international festivals. Of his first feature, A Simple Event, Donald Ranvaud has written in the British journal Framework: “This remarkable first work portrayed the life of a twelve-year-old boy, the son of a fisherman without a license and a rich mother, at the mercy of extreme poverty and despair. The boy's days are all the same: he goes to school and returns home running to collect the father's catch, sell it at the market, and bring the money to the bar, enshrined in soft focus, where the parent is drinking his thoughts away quietly. Day in, day out, the boy runs through existence with the smile of tranquil resignation on his face, until the ‘simple event' - the mother's death - begins to take shape.”

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