June 15, 2014

Manuscripts Don't Burn (2013)

Manuscripts Don't Burn (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Mohammad Rasoulof
Country: Iran

Movie Review: Everybody knows what’s happening to the movies coming from Iran, an authoritarian regime that imposes a tight censorship to the media. Mohammad Rasoulof is one of those persecuted filmmakers whose six films were never exhibited in his country of origin. By watching his latest film, “Manuscripts Don’t Burn”, we understand why the Iranian authorities were so concerned about the film and why Rasoulof was arrested in 2010 along with Jafar Panahi, another acclaimed director who refuses to shut his mouth. The film adopts a relentless narrative to tell the story of two men hired by the government with the mission of killing a writer without leaving marks. Furthermore, they have to do whatever is needed to take possession of a compromising manuscript and all its copies. The unstable but methodical ways used by the killers conditioned somehow the pace of the film, which takes its time to show how these illegal operations are carried out. The most interesting thing is to realize the motives of one of the killers who only thinks in earning some money for his sick kid. More political than entertaining, “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” is hard to watch and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but its socio-political denunciations are extremely important to let the world know how these regimes of fear operate in the shadow. Rasoulof assumes a straightforward direction, revealing harsh realities instead of trying to thrill us. For obvious reasons, the cast and crew refused to have their names exhibited in the final credits.

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