A Light In The Fog

A Light In The Fog


Reviewed by: Sarah Artt

For those who worship the long slow take, the utter lack of extra-diegetic sound and the overly langourous, meditative narratives that dominate a certain strand of Middle Eastern art cinema, A Light In The Fog will be a welcome addition to the canon. However, in light of the EIFF panel following Gerald Peary's documentary, For The Love Of Movies: The Story Of American Film Criticism, where Sight And Sound editor Nick James discussed the relevance of the film critic as filter, I have decided to take a potentially unfashionable stance with regard to Panahbarkhoda Rezaee's A Light In The Fog.

Whenever a reviewer or experienced film-goer sees the phrase 'hypnotically beautiful' attached to a film blurb, we tend to take this as a warning. Either the film's director of photography is a certified genius and no matter what, the film will look so incredible that you'll forget all about the turgid plot, actors chewing the (possibly exquisite) scenery and unfocused direction; or this is the subtle code deployed to indicate the following: “this film is somehow important but so dull that you will require constant propping up via the stimulant of your choice.” Sadly, A Light In The Fog suffers from the latter rather than the former. It does not even have the immense cachet of having been smuggled out of the country in pieces, taped to the bodies of intrepid artists seeking a market for their work (à la mesmerising The Silence Between Two Thoughts).

Copy picture

In the land of the Tweetolution, I know there are innovative, controversial artists with different narratives bursting to be told, and their work deserves to be on an international platform like that of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. There must be more to Iranian cinema than this! Please, we need to see more diversity from the Iranian filmmakers here in the West.

I know there are melodramas, I know there are comedies - could we possibly see some of these over here? Some of us are fed up with these turgid, silent epics (or they feel like epics even when they're only just over an hour!) of one woman's colourless, rural existence. Is there a light in the haze of Iranian art cinema and can someone please shine it over in Scotland?

Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2009
Share this with others on...
Story of a widow and her sick dad, who live in isolation.
Amazon link

Director: Panahbarkhoda Rezaee

Year: 2008

Runtime: 76 minutes

Country: Iran


EIFF 2009

Search database: