14/05/2009 13:39

TWO-LEGGED HORSE

Iran, 2008, 101 min
Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Cast: Ziya Mirza Mohamad, Haron Ahad, Gol Gotai Karimi, Khojah Nader, Yasin Tavildar
Awards: Georgas Delerue Prize for Best Music, Grand Prix nomination for Best Film at Flanders International Film Festival, 2008; Special Prize of the Jury, San Sebastian International Film Festival, 2008;
Selection: EXIT POINT

Drama Two-Legged Horse by Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf is based on the screenplay written by her father, a famous director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who was inspired by difficult social-political situation in his country. Heartbreaking story with documentary-like shots, shows human metamorphosis, regressive evolution, from man to animal, at times when values are absent and relationships between people are based on abuse and exploitation. One person takes advantage of another, as if that person was some kind of tool or animal and not a human being, altering him completely to serve his needs. Darwin's theory is replaced by the demeaning "Theory of the two-legged horse".

Film shows a man who comes from a city to a poor village and offers a job to one boy. Before the job is given to a boy, he has to take endurance test and compete against other poor children from the village. The man will hire a boy who can carry on his back his disabled son, who lost both his legs in war by a landmine, to school and back. A boy from the village wins and gets the job. Every day he carries the boy to school and back, competing with donkeys on the street. Apart from that he plays with his little master, serves him and bathes him, all that for a dollar a day. Still, the disabled boy is not happy, he asked his father to buy him a horse, not a boy...

In order to make the film true to life and convincing, the director chose unprofessional actors, after a long search in about ten cities in Afghanistan. Following serious preparations the boys were ready to take their roles. However, the problems did not end there. During the shooting of the film, a bomb was thrown at the crew, six people were injured - one of them died. The incident was an expression of discontent about the film making, although it was stated that the main reason was generally unsafe situation in Afghanistan. UN later warned about the possibility of new incidents, so the crew finished shooting in another city.