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Fifi Howls from Happiness

Fifi az Khoshhali Zooze Mikeshad

Iran | 2013 | 96 minutes | Mitra Farahani

In the time of the Shah, Iranian artist Bahman Mohasses’ salacious sculpture and paintings were often censored. Director Mitra Farahani finds him in Rome, irascible as ever, tackling his “final commission” with verve and wit.

May 22, 2014
xHarvard Exit  
9:30 PM Date has passed
May 23, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
3:00 PM Date has passed
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“I’ll tell you my life story so no idiot will do it after me,” declares Bahman Mohasses to Mitra Farahani, director of Fifi Howls from Happiness. Mohasses, an Iranian artist whose salacious sculpture and paintings have often faced censorship in his native country, disappeared from public life long ago, even as the value of his work continued to appreciate on the international market. Farahani finds him living in self-imposed exile in Rome, where he moved in 2006 after becoming so discouraged by the quality of a creative life in Tehran that he destroyed (or “killed,” in his words) most of his own work. Irascible, egotistical, and with a venomous wit, he puts Farahani through her paces, but the two gradually develop a rapport through conversations about art, legacy, poetry, and sexuality (his taste was for straight boys) in smoky interviews. Keen to film Mohasses at work, she introduces him to brothers Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh, leading Iranian artists based in Dubai, who want to commission a new, possibly final, piece. Funny, fascinating, and a fitting tribute to one of the great Iranian artists of the 20th century.

Director Biography

Mitra Farahani, born in 1975 in Teheran, is a painter and a film director. In 1998, her painting give the chance to study in Paris at the Ecole nationale superieure des arts decoratifs, and produced a first documentary about a transsexual woman living in Teheran. This work was awarded by the special prize of the Jury at the Teddy Awards in the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. She went back to Berlin in 2004 with Tabous, a documentary about love and sexuality in Iran. She was arrested and released in June 2009 at the Teheran airport. She went to Rome to find the Iranian painter Bahman Mohassess.

Sponsored by The Art Institute of Seattle

Director: Mitra Farahani
Principal Cast: Bahman Mohasses, Rokni Haerizadeh, Ramin Haerizadeh, Farshad Mahootforoush
Country: Iran, USA, Italy
Year: 2013
Running Time: 96 minutes
Producer: Marjaneh Moghimi
Cinematographers: Miltra Farahani
Editors: Yannick Kergoat, Suzana Pedro
Music: Tara Kamangar
Awards: BAFICI 2014 (Best Film)
Filmography: Tabous - Zohre & Manouchehr (2004)
Language: Farsi
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
US Distributor: Music Box Films
International Sales: Urban Distribution International
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