Scream of the Ants
The Iranian film master set off for India for this philosophically tinted associative road movie with breathtakingly beautiful shots. An Iranian couple on their honeymoon is looking for religious and spiritual answers, just like many Westerners do.
The master of Iranian cinema, Mohsen Makhbalbaf, left his country some years ago and has made films outside Iran since. He has fulfilled a fifteen-year-old dream by shooting Scream of the Ants in India. He filmed at locations like Varanasi, Delhi and Jaisalmer and the results are breathtaking pictures of the country and an inside and unknown look at Indian society.
As often in Makhmalbaf’s films, there is a mixture of fiction and reality by combining a fictional story (two newlyweds on their honeymoon in India) with the real life of the country and the performance of the non-actors. It seems that the fictional story itself is not the most important part of this unusual Indian road-movie. It is more a philosophical tractate of the (almost) fifty-year-old director. He gives his two Iranian protagonists (who actually originally come from the USA and France) dialogues and ideas typical for many (western) visitors to India who seek answers there for their existential or religious questions. The couple travels and wanders around while searching for truth (looking for the ‘complete man’). Their often provocative words are in contrast with the simple life and the acceptance of life by the locals they come in contact with.
This is a film that will certainly not leave its audience indifferent - it might even provoke various reactions. It is an associative and go-with-the-flow film and a surprising and enriching experience. (LC)