Cannes 2024: Mohammad Rasoulof's The Seed of the Sacred Fig gives The Sound of Music deja vu | Hollywood - Hindustan Times
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Cannes 2024: Mohammad Rasoulof's The Seed of the Sacred Fig gives The Sound of Music deja vu

May 24, 2024 03:08 PM IST

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof brings the thrilling story of escape to Cannes with The Seed of the Sacred Fig.

Iranian rebel director Mohammad Rasoulof made a great escape from his homeland days before his movie, The Seed of the Scared Fig, was to play at the prestigious competition slot in the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. The film could remind you of an ever-enduring classic, The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. (Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2024: Here's what international reviews say about India's All We Imagine As Light)

Director Mohammad Rasoulof poses for a portrait photograph for the film The Seed of the Sacred Fig at the 77th international film festival, Cannes.(Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Director Mohammad Rasoulof poses for a portrait photograph for the film The Seed of the Sacred Fig at the 77th international film festival, Cannes.(Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

The Sound of Music deja vu

Told to serve Hitler's occupying forces in Austria during the end of the country's golden days of music and melody, the Von Trapp family escapes a life of servitude. In a hauntingly memorable climax, we see them trek across the Alps.

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The latest escape saga by Rasoulof had all the ingredients of a thriller – much like The Sound of Music story. But unlike the Von Trapps, Rasoulof did not appear to be happy at Cannes. For him, it was a very tough call – to stay on in Iran to face lashes, an eight-year jail term and being stopped from making what he knew best, cinema. Over a period of just two hours, he ran away from Iran.

Rasoulof's great escape

He told the media that accused of committing a crime against Iran and all set to be punished, he decided to leave behind his beloved country. With very little time left before the revolutionary guards came to arrest him, he chose freedom. Freedom to make movies – not to rot in jail.

Rasoulof said in a statement: “Death sentences are being executed as the Islamic Republic has targeted the lives of protesters and civil rights activists. It’s hard to believe, but right now as I’m writing this, the young rapper, Toomaj Salehi, is held in prison and has been sentenced to death. The scope and intensity of repression has reached a point of brutality where people expect news of another heinous government crime every day. The criminal machine of the Islamic Republic is continuously and systematically violating human rights.”

Rasoulof knew how to escape without getting caught. He threw away all the electronic gadgets, including his mobile phone, for he knew, they would help the Iranian police track him down. And on foot, he crossed the mountains before reaching Germany, where freedom and peace awaited him. His trek was so similar to the one in The Sound of Music. Cinema mirrors life all right.

However, Rasoulof is confident he would return home. Things would change there, he felt. Many Iranian artists have had this wish, but they have not been able to go back to their motherland.

Rasoulof, who won Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2020 with There Is No Evil and the top prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2018 with A Man Of Integrity, shows in his latest outing how some people are mute spectators to the ills that plague his country. They are so devoted to the system. Not everyone can be as bold as him

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