A Moment of Innocence

    • Mohsen Makhmalbaf
    • Iran, France
    • 1996
    • 78 min
    • Focus: The Villain
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    In 1974, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 17 years old and fighting for democracy in Iran, was shot by a young policeman. Subsequently, Makhmalbaf was incarcerated and tortured by the totalitarian regime. He wasn’t released until four and a half years later, during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Makhmalbaf launched a successful career as a filmmaker, and as such was approached years later by the police officer with whom he had clashed. The man wanted to become an actor.

    That is where A Moment of Innocence begins: a man arrives at the gate of the Makhmalbaf family home and is greeted by their little daughter. From then on, the film unfolds like an ingenious game of past and present, stagings and reconstructions, idealism and treachery. This turns the film into a striking combination of personal history, documentary and fiction.

    The director, who plays himself and the policeman cast and coach their young selves in the build-up to the shooting of the crucial incident, which took place 20 years before. In 78 minutes, Makhmalbaf builds up to a climax in which love and decay, youth and old age, image and memory converge.


    • 78 min
    • color
    • 35mm
    • Spoken languages: Persian
    • Subtitles in: English
    Mohsen Makhmalbaf
    Mohsen Makhmalbaf for Makhmalbaf Film House, Marin Karmitz for MK2 Films
    Executive producer
    Mohamed Azin
    Mahmoud Kalari
    Mohsen Makhmalbaf
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    IDFA history

    Focus: The Villain
    Paradocs: Curated by Aernout Mik
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