Barre's Silence
Barre's Silence
IDFA 2013

Barre's Silence

Sokoote Barre
Morvarid Peyda, Mehrdad Ahmadpour
68 min
World Premiere
Festival history
The inhabitants of a remote Iranian village speculate and argue about the performance of their local pride and joy, Barre the fighting bull. The pain is palpable when he loses to his rival from a nearby village. Locals wager large amounts of money on these ancient bullfights, but what’s most at stake is the honor of the village. The bull’s owner Nader is sitting out a jail term, so his son-in-law Bahador is taking care of Barre. While the voice-over recounts the events leading up to Barre’s triumph and the impact of his defeat on the villagers, the camera focuses on the bull’s passionate admirers at the fights. Photos grace the shop windows and entire monthly wages are committed to his chance of winning. But once the party has come to a muted end, the villagers start to squabble. So who is actually Barre’s owner? Is it Bahador, who put lots of money into the bull, or Nader, who lent the animal out? And should Barre be entered for the next fight or not? Much like soccer, bullfights offer plenty of opportunities for intrigue and analysis – and there’s even a case of doping.
Screening copy