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Special Screenings

The Gardener / Bagheban
Iran / 2012 / 87 min.
Director: Mohsen MAKHMALBAF

The Baha'i Faith is a religion that was founded in Iran in the mid-19th century. It preaches a doctrine of world peace and is characterized by its tolerance of other religions, but its propagation is banned in Iran and its World Centre is located on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, where founder Baha'u'llah spent his last days. In this film, Mohsen MAKHMALBAF and his son Maysam take their cameras into the religion's headquarters. Not only do they interview believers who have gathered there from around the world, but they also point their cameras at each other and engage in an extensive dialogue regarding religion and film. As their conversations continue, their generation gap gradually becomes apparent, which leads Maysam to express his frustration with his father and head to Jerusalem on his own... "The Gardener", Mohsen's first directorial effort in quite some time, is more than just a documentary about a specific religion; it is a comprehensive study of various problems facing the world today, such as the relationship between religion and war. It is a unique work that suggests a new departure point for the MAKHMALBAF family, who have maintained silence since the Iranian presidential election in 2009.


According to Article 18 of the Declaration of Human Rights, each person has the right to choose his or her religion. In spite of the fact that the Iranian government has accepted this, it has deprived hundreds of thousands of Iranians, who have chosen the Baha'i Faith as their religion of their rights, including receiving higher education and working in public offices. Their cemeteries are being destroyed. From time to time they are arrested, sent to prison and executed. In spite of all this, Baha'is refuse to abandon their beliefs.
Today still many people don't know, what it is about the Baha'i thought that has brought these much.

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