BIFF Review: Among the Hills

The profound, yet, silent screams from the calm scenery highlights Iranian Mohammad Reza Keivanfa, who studied at Abbas Kiarostami Workshop, first movie into the world, Among the Hills.

The camera follows a teacher who just got transferred to a remote area from a city throughout the movie, and of the usual people who live in a city which is why there are no subtitles for other languages other than Persian that the teacher only knows.

The remote and untouched area is so pristine and peaceful. However, life in the area is a vast difference to the stranger in his new surroundings.

Image courtesy of Among the Hills

The severe winter in this uncivilized area forces people to migrate, and the two most important things are to survive and to live. Offspring and livestock are the most precious, so girls as young as 14 get married and give birth to as many children as possible, so kids can help work and herd on the hills.

Image courtesy of Among the Hills

The camera constantly pursues to capture the female faces in vain, underlying the lightness of women’s lives and rights in the area. The old empty bus, which used to be a school for kids, is itself a dreary reminder for the hopeless children yearning for something more.

Image courtesy of Among the Hills

Without revealing the name of the area, the director implies that the story can be anywhere in the world; it can be of a person isolated in an office, a lady struggling to be equal in rights or business, a boy living without a future, or a stubborn system not letting any changes happen.

However, this movie still holds the love for human nature and dreams for the future. The serene resonance of hope offers the viewer solace that better times are ahead.

Focus Point 1. The breathtaking scenery.

Focus Point 2. Only one actor, the teacher, and one actress, the doctor, are professional actors.

Focus Point 3. Parallels with the movies of Abbas Kiarostami.

Focus Point 4. The director’s next movie will be about these residents trying to move out of the area.

Image courtesy of Among the Hills

Film Information

  • Director: Mohammad Reza Keivanfa
  • Country: Iran
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
Yoona Kang
M.A. in English syntax. Loves travel, exercise, animals, music and dance. Happy Busanite, foodie, excellent suitcase packer.

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