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Mehran Tamadon: “The worst thing was to see how the interviewees relived that pain”

The French-based Iranian director Mehran Tamadon arrives at Tiempo de Historia with two films in competition, something unprecedented in the history of this section. Where God is Not and My Worst Enemy form a complementary, but not exclusive, diptych on repression in Iran.

In the first, Tamadon interviews three exiles who reconstruct the torture and interrogation they suffered at the hands of the regime, while in the second, actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, also a refugee in France after escaping from Tehran, where she was sentenced to ten years in prison and 99 lashes for leaking a sex tape, plays the role of the agents with Tamadon as the arrestee.

“The worst thing was to see how the interviewees relived that pain”, reflected Tamadon during a talk at the festival in which he defined his filmography as “a questioning of the present”, which is transformed as Iranian reality does, and “a questioning of power”. “The complicated part has been the editing so that the result has coherence,” said the filmmaker in relation to the articulation of the different sequences, which, seen a posteriori by their own protagonists, have been “cathartic” for most of them.

Tamadon confessed that his initial idea was to develop a triptych, with this third film set in Iran and involving the real torturers, but the difficulties in bringing the project to fruition, which would have implied postponing or renouncing the stories told in Where God is Not and My Worst Enemy, dissuaded him. “I don’t know if the agents will be shocked to see the film,” wondered the filmmaker, who defined it more as “a desire than a reality” that awareness of the consequences and consequences of their actions for those who suffered them.

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