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Banaras Me (2010)
Earth, Water ,Fire & Air.. In Banaras
"Banaras Me" is a near-wordless documentary on the city of "Varanesi" (or Banareas), one of the most sacred places in Hinduism and Buddhism. Without using narrations, director "David Varela" shows us an internal view of the city and its residents, and somehow the spirit of the city.
We see people's routine life, their religious prayers, workings, celebrations and hobbies; and also difficulties of living in Banaras.
We loosely follow the routine life of a couple of local people, but we see them as parts of the city, not as special individuals. It seemed that every specie in the city was equally a part of Banares identity and culture.
I had the chance to see this magnificent documentary on the screen, and I was totally captivated by the movie. It really felt like visiting (and touching) Banares, and without usage of words it kept all the audiences in their seats for its entire two-hour running time.
A Winning Documentary
Tehran, Tehran (2010)
The reason I chose "Tehran, Tehran" to watch was Mehrjuei. I admire him for his great works like "Hamoun" and "Tenants", but he didn't get better than those days. In fact he started to what you call "losing it".
But about the movie: Tehran municipality invited two directors (Dariush Mehrjuei and Mehdi Karampour) to make films about Tehran.
Tehran, Tehran (first episode, directed by Mehrjuei) is about a poor family who finds their humble house in ruins just before new year holidays .. (SPOILERS) >> They decide to spend next day touring Tehran, but they miss the touring bus. Accidentally, they meet a group of old men and women who are touring Tehran, they join the happy group; and finally rebuild their house with their help << (SPOILERS)
The story was unbelievably lousy. The characters didn't have any depth and director did whatever he liked, whether the audience believes it or not. Since I wasn't interested in Karampour's previous work (Who killed Amir?) I left the movie theater nearly at the end of the first episode.