13-24 nov 2024
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First Case, Second Case

First Case, Second Case

Qazieh-e shekl-e avval... shekl-e dovvom
Abbas Kiarostami
Iran
1979
53 min
n.a.
Focus: 16 Worlds on 16
Synopsis

One of the boys in the classroom is a troublemaker. Every time the teacher faces the blackboard, the boy knocks rhythmically on the underside of his desk. When no one admits to being the culprit, the teacher sends seven pupils out of the class with an ultimatum: hand over the offender and return to class, or else stay in the corridor all week long.

Abbas Kiarostami shot two versions of what happened next. In one version, one of the seven betrays the troublemaker; in the other, all seven show solidarity and remain silent. The director then screened the two versions for a group of administrators, religious leaders and intellectuals.

Kiarostami filmed First Case, Second Case in spring 1979, between the fall of the Shah of Iran and the declaration of the Islamic Republic. It is striking that especially the new leaders—who are filled with revolutionary zeal—praise the resolve of the group who remain silent. These leaders would soon flip this conviction, however, once they had founded their theocracy. Kiarostami’s psychological test disguised as an instructional film was banned immediately after the premiere, and 40 years were to pass before it was screened again.

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Credits
53 min
color
DCP
Spoken languages: Persian
Director
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Abbas Kiarostami
Production
    KANOON Institut pour le développement intellectuel de la jeunesse - Département cinéma
    KANOON Institut pour le développement intellectuel de la jeunesse - Département cinéma
Cinematography
    Houshang Baharlou
    Houshang Baharlou
Editing
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Abbas Kiarostami
Sound
    Changiz Sayad
    Changiz Sayad
World Sales
    mk2 Films
    mk2 Films
Screening copy
    MK2 Films
    MK2 Films

Stills

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More from the program section Focus: 16 Worlds on 16
Reflecting on 100 years of 16mm since Kodak introduced this film format, this focus program explores how the history of documentary film has been influenced as a result. The selection includes classics from cinema verité such as Daguerréotypes by Agnès Varda and Salesman by the Maysels, as well as examples of films that wrap their criticism of authorities in metaphors due to censorship, as in "First Case, Second Case" where Abbas Kiarostami examines revolutionary thought
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