"The Devil does not exist": the chilling portrait of Iranian society by Mohammad Rasoulof

Tahmineh (Darya Moghbeli) in "The Devil Does Not Exist", by Mohammad Rasoulof.

© Pyramid distribution

Text by: Elisabeth Lequeret Follow

1 min

The Devil does not exist

 is the new film by Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof.

Under prison sentence and deprived of a filming authorization, the filmmaker continues to live and work in his country.

His film won the Golden Bear in 2020, the highest award at the Berlin Film Festival.

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Since his beginnings in 2002,

Mohammad Rasoulof has been

digging the same path.

His films, eight to date, are brilliant scriptwriting constructions

that denounce the excesses of his country.

The new one is no exception to the rule: filmed clandestinely, it weaves a reflection on the death penalty and the collective guilt that results from it.

The Devil Does Not Exist

 is available in four short films, shot in Tehran or in the villages of the Iranian province.

Here then is a father with an apparently banal life, two young engaged couples meeting on the occasion of a leave, a village couple welcoming their niece and a young conscript, horrified at the idea that he must execute a prisoner.

At the heart of each story, an almost philosophical question: By what process does awareness take place, or not, and what are the intellectual, emotional or moral consequences on the individual?

Even though the film is a bit overwhelmed by this ambition, it delivers a chilling portrait of Iranian society and Rasoulof's outrage at the state-sanctioned murder is worth more than a thousand speeches.

See also: Cinema: the 70th Berlinale crowns Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof

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