“I am condemned to paint.” – Bahman Mohasses


Wednesday 10 December, 19.30h at Rialto Amsterdam

Mitra Farhani
US, Iran & France | 2013 | 96 min
Dutch premiere

Bahman Mohasses was one of the most celebrated artists in the pre-revolutionary Iran of the 60s and 70s.
Called the “Persian Picasso”, Mohasses was equally renowned for his iconoclastic paintings and sculptures as much as for his inflammatory public pronouncements.
After the Islamic revolution, Mohasses quickly went from national icon to persona non grata, his provocative works were censored and all traces of him were suddenly lost. It was said that he destroyed his remaining paintings and disappeared.

Several years after his last public appearance, filmmaker Mitra Farhani tracks him down in a hotel in Rome. Farhani, who began her career as a painter, patiently convinces the rancorous artist to tell his own story on camera.
The lyrical self-portrait resulting from their encounter reveals Mohasses’ artistic method and his poignant life philosophy. A joyous celebration of freedom—to create, to destroy, to love, to indulge, to pontificate and make withering judgments, and most of all to live without regret.

Winner of the International Competition at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) 2014

“Stunningly multifaceted…surprising and deeply affecting. […]You might actually say the documentary itself is Mohassess’s final canvas, so infused it becomes with his alternately infuriating and infectious personality.” – FIVE STARS, Time Out NY

“Addictively fascinating…The lovely meeting of artistic sensibilities makes this doc sing.” – Critics PIck, Village Voice

“Thoughtful, moving…A portrait of the artist as a refusenik, a recluse, a survivor and a stubborn question mark.” The New York Times

FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS is also going to be screened in January in Breda (Chassé), Arnhem (Filmfocus) and Haarlem (Filmschuur).

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed art related documentaries and artists’ films.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through experimental documentaries and cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.

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