Manuscripts Don't Burn

  • 127'
  • Iran
  • 2013
Until just before its premiere in Cannes, hardly anything was known about Manuscripts Don’t Burn. Understandable if you know that in 2011 Mohammad Rasoulof was banned from working for 20 years by the Iranian authorities and shot this film in secret. It’s his most angry film so far. Rasoulof has jettisoned the circumspect allegorical approach. This political thriller is a harsh indictment of corruption, censorship and state violence.
The title of the film refers to a passage from The Master and Margarita, a literary high point from the Soviet era. The story is based on facts reminiscent of Stalin’s reign of terror: the murder of 80 opponents of the Islamic Republic in the period 1988-1998.
Two policemen are sent into the snow-covered mountains to arrest a writer. Their boss's hidden agenda: to clean out witnesses to an earlier purge of dissidents. While one policeman faces moral dilemmas, the other appeals to the God-given rightness of sharia.

Director
Mohammad Rasoulof
Country of production
Iran
Production Year
2013
Festival Edition
IFFR 2014
Length
127'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Dast-neveshtehaa nemisoozand
Language
Farsi
Producer
Mohammad Rasoulof
Sales
Elle Driver
Screenplay
Mohammad Rasoulof
Local Distributor
September Film
Website
http://septemberfilm.nl/films/164-Manuscripts_Dont_Burn