It's Winter

It's Winter

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Chris's film review of It's Winter

The only extra of note here is an interview with director Rafi Pitts (in English), but it makes for an engaging and informative 40 minutes. Pitts stresses the close relationship between neo-realism and poetry to explain his film's use of poetic lyrics on the soundtrack, as well as some of its more poetic visual imagery.

He is particularly interesting on the balance between happenstance and calculated design that goes into his films: he has a working script, but never brings it to set, and the characters are informed in part by the (mostly non-professional) actors who play them. Ali Nicksolat, for example, is a genuine local crane mechanic who had never acted before, and the delicate shyness that he exhibits in his first conversation with Mitra Hadjar's character was carefully manipulated by Pitts, who did not let Nicksolat actually meet Hadjar (a big star in Iran) until the cameras started rolling. The snow that falls in the film's final scenes, so perfect thematically for the film, was in fact down to chance, as there was only one day scheduled for the shoot at the train station.

Copy picture

Pitts also talks of his attraction to marginalised characters in cinema, of his admiration for Fellini, Antonioni and Tarkovsky, and finally, about the advantages and disadvantages brought to Iranian cinema by strict national censorship - a phenomenon which he is at pains to point out long pre-existed the Revolution.

It is all fascinating, and without doubt this more discursive interview format is better suited than an audio commentary to a film so simple and pure in its storytelling.

Reviewed on: 23 Apr 2007
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It's Winter packshot
Poverty and isolation in modern Iran.
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Product Code: ART340DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1 widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0

Extras: Interview with Rafi Pitts, Rafi Pitts biography

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