“When I see so much poverty around me how can I make films about poetry?,” Makhmalbaf said, speaking of the extreme realism in his movies.
Makhmalbaf made the remarks on the sidelines of the 1st Kochi Film Festival.
The Kochi Film Festival will screen films from Latin America, Europe, Asia and USA, apart from films on the 100 Years of Indian Cinema and Centenary of Masters.
A total of 50 international films and 24 Indian films will be screened.
5 films from Thailand, 8 from Poland, 6 films from Iran will be a part of the international section, while 18 Malayalam, one Tulu film, and three Hindi films are in the line-up.
Makhmalbaf noted, that the emphasis is on giving a valid message for the audience to ponder over when they come out of the movie house.
Makhmalbaf was thrown into prison at the age of 17, for opposing the repressive regime of Iranian Shah. He spent 5 years behind the bars, reading about 2,000 books on numerous subjects.
“I draw my concept from reality. Besides, the situations and the people I encounter, the places I see and my own mood dictate my decision on the next film,” he said.
Makhmalbaf added that the censorship prevailing in Iran should not be mistaken as contributing to the wider global acceptance of Iranian movies.
“Censorship kills cinema. Sometimes a little pressure gives filmmakers more energy to fight it. But strangulate them and they will die. That’s why many Iranian filmmakers are not able to make films there now,” he said.
Makhmalbaf’s films have been widely presented in international film festivals in the past ten years. The multi-award-winning director, belongs to the new wave movement of Iranian cinema.
Time magazine selected Makhmalbaf’s 2001 film, Kandahar, as one of top 100 films of all time. In 2006, he was a member of the Jury at the Venice film festival.
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