There Is No Evil
Extraordinary Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof again challenges the limitations on freedom in his country with this powerful award winner.
Each of the four stories revolve around capital punishment, often in surprising ways. To watch the titular opening segment, there is little hint of the central theme until Rasoulof allows a stunning reveal that chills to the bone. Each chapter is all the more impressive for the stunning way they’re shot. It’s little surprise that the filmmaker took the top prize, the Golden Bear, at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. And more surprising still when one knows that Rasoulof has been banned for life from filmmaking by the Iranian government.
Though less known internationally at the time than Jafar Panahi, both were arrested in 2010. In 2017, following the release of his incendiary A Man of Integrity, he received further censure. _There is No Evil _would be impressive if only as an act of defiance and a symbol of artistic freedom. That it is also a visually striking, powerfully told drama is a testament to this brilliant filmmaker’s vision. It places him alongside the many incredible Iranian directors whose work has screened internationally, from Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf to Panahi and Asghar Farhadi.