Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Hamid Rahmanian
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
In Iran, capital punishment is carried out according to Islamic law, which gives the family of the victim ownership of the offender's life. Day Break, based on a compilation of true stories and shot inside Tehran s century... more »
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M. LaFreniere | 08/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"an amazing film. it gives the feel of a documentary in the beginning, sucking you into the reality and showing a different justice system -- one that emphasizes religion and the right of the family of the victim to decides the fate of the murderer, deciding whether the murderer will be executed or serve a long sentence -- the length of the sentence is decided by law. In an early scene, the protagonist and another inmate come to their execution. The victim's family of the protagonist is not there so the decision of his execution is put off for 40 days. The family's presence is mandatory. The other inmate begs the victim's family for forgiveness. The muslim priest lectures them on the importance of forgiveness even as he outlines their right to decide on the execution. Will the family decide to execute? If they do, the man will be hanged but one family member must pull the trolley out from under the man to hang him. You feel that this is a system that does not put the state above the feelings of the person/family. Yet can an average person follow through on killing a killer? In an amazing piece of acting, the father faces his son's killer set on vengeance, but then must face killing the killer. You feel that father's grief, anger and morality. Killing, even killing a killer, is a moral decision. The movie follows the other man in limbo when his victim's family doesn't show. We witness the relationship between the inmates, his despair and his reflections on his life and his relationship with his parents and pregnant wife while he waits. We don't see the actual murder, which is a fault as it is too easy to sympathize with the murderer. I don't know if the movie reflects the reality of the prison system there but if so it is much more humane than here int he U.S. as the prisoners bond in a community trying to give hope to each other. The guards treat them as human although they do what they have to to quell problems, using solitary confinement as punishment. You feel some of these men are salvageable and that this is a system that gives them a chance to join society while giving the victim's family justice. A very good movie. The acting is very good. Framing as a documentary and sliding into a film is a very good move, allowing the filmmakers to ask questions about justice while exploring one man's mind. A+"
Touching Emotional Wallop
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Film Movement's DVD "Day Break" brings the Iranian film by director Hamid Rahmanian to Western audiences. The film is riveting as Mansour gets angry at his boss and picks up a big rock. The offscreen action results in a murder. Through flashbacks, we learn the backstory that Mansour moved his family to Tehran from their little village in northern Iran. The boss apparently breaks a promise and tells Mansour not to call and insultingly calls him "a villager," similar to a being called a hick or a hillbilly in the U.S. Hossein Yari does a masterful job in the lead role. We see in flashback his courtship with his wife and their tender loving relationship. When his wife gives birth, he brings the baby a pair of slippers. The intense regret he feels for the murder and its potential sacrifice of his life is prolonged when the family of the murdered victim who must be present cancels three times. Each time the execution is stayed. The film was shot inside Tehran's century-old prison and gives an interesting perspective on a very different justice system. The film is touching and has a great emotional wallop.
The short film of 17-year old drummer Anders Erickson is amazing for its sonic and visual pyrotechnics. Canadian director Deco Dawson does an excellent job with this 9-minute documentary. Together, this is an excellent DVD! Bravo!"
Alex Ortega | utah | 02/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a must!!! Great Iranian film. Man those guys know how to make movies. It is relentless, ravishing; it will tear you apart.
Melancholic, nostalgic, unflinchingly true."