Interview with Reza Mirkarimi on his latest film, As Simple as This
by Massoud Mehrabi

His first film, The Child and the Soldier (1999) proved that a talented and promising director was making his debut in the Iranian cinema. A year later, Under the Moonlight (2000) proved that expectation correct. Either in structure, or in motif, the second film was much better than his first and was lauded by both critics and movie buffs. Under the Moonlight and its impressive scenes increased viewers’ expectations so high that A Light Is Burning Here was considered a failure despite its beautiful and bold storyline. His brilliant work, So Far, So Close (2004) stabilized the director’s position in the Iranian cinema as a prominent filmmaker and introduced Reza Mirkarimi as an auteur whose films were quite worth watching. His latest film, As Simple as This, was also selected as the best film by jury of the 26th Fajr International Film Festival (February 2008) and was also the choice of film critics and writers.
Film International: What motivated you to choose this theme and storyline after So Far, So Close? What necessity made you choose this subject?
Reza Mirkarimi: Usually, in response to such questions they mention their preoccupations and the need to attend to such subjects in the society. I must honestly admit that there are many subjects about which I am willing to make films. I constantly think about important subjects and issues some of which have turned into a serious preoccupation for me. I think about how they can be presented in a good film? For example, pretense has been institutionalized in our society both as a personal and social demeanor which has varied external manifestations and has become quite habitual for us. However, for those who observe our society for the first time, it seems very strange. I have thought a lot about this subject. I also like to have experiences in other cinema genres, but I find myself either not adequately experienced to attend to them, or I feel that needed capacities are lacking among our politicians and cultural policymakers to support such projects. As for As Simple as This, I must admit that I loved this subject and I was interested in individuality of people in big cities as well as the loneliness that a middle class housewife feels. Before making So Far, So Close, when I watched Ja'far Panahi’s Circle, its structure greatly appealed to me. I sometime told Ja'far Panahi that I did not totally agree to the theme of his film and did not consider it a complete movie, but I liked its structure. I was impressed by Circle. I wondered why when we want to talk about a social class; we focus on the most external signs of that class. There are subjects that may not hit the headlines in newspapers but are also important. The problems facing Iranian women, especially housewives, seem to be quite ordinary and simple and are not apparently attractive. Therefore, few people dare to make films about them...

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