Film is a creative and flexible medium, and all sorts of artistic decisions can be made to give viewers a unique experience. The new Iranian film A Dragon Arrives! mixes genres and filmmaking styles, going from a 1960s-era detective story to a supernatural thriller, and a mockumentary. This is something the film’s star Amir Jadidi – who plays the doomed detective Babak Hafizi sent to the Iranian desert to investigate a suspicious death and other eerie happenings around the nearby graveyard – was attracted to when he signed on to the film.
“The concepts are fresh and different from other movies in Iran. I think that hasn’t been shown to our audience before. Everything in this film is different from other movies.”
Jadidi enjoyed working on the film and with its director Mani Haghighi, although he admits that working in the desert was difficult. “It was very challenging as expected. It’s hard compared to the modern CGI sets. It doesn’t have anything there.”
A Dragon Arrives! Initially comes off as a supernatural story, with a mysterious force killing off the desert’s inhabitants once a sacred graveyard has been disturbed. What makes the film stand out though is its 1965 setting and the fact that the story starts the day after the Iranian Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansour’s assassination. Despite the obvious allusions – Ali Mansour was a liberal and progressive politician – Jadidi does not feel the film is political.
“I don’t think the movie was political. It was just an amazing film, it had many beautiful frames. It’s something like science fiction, but not science fiction, with the supernatural.”
A Dragon Arrives! Is being shows as part of The Iranian Film Festival Australia, which is on in Melbourne (ACMI) until November 1; Adelaide (Mercury Cinema) November 3 – 6; Sydney (Event Cinemas Top Ryde and Dendy Opera Quays) November 10 – 13; Canberra (Arc Cinema) November 11 – 13; and Perth (Event Cinemas Innaloo) November 17 – 20. For more information head to the website.