"The Bear"

  Khosrow Ma’soumi started his film career with Meeting some 25 years ago. His most important work is a collection of films he has made on wood smuggling in northern Iranian forests: Tradition of Killing the Lovers (2002), A Faraway Place (2005) and The Wind Twists in the Meadow (2007). Excessive felling of trees in the Iranian forests is a major environmental concern which has sometimes turned criminal and forest guards have been killed by smugglers. Ma’soumi has focused on that violence in his films. His new work, The Bear, is his tenth feature which is also about the same subject. A young cleric who is also a carpenter has been away for many years during Iran-Iraq war. Back at his village, he is told that a wood smuggler nicknamed Bear has damaged his house. Ma’soumi’s past films were shot in the snow, but The Bear has been shot in springtime. He started writing the screenplay two years ago casing the seasoned Iranian actor Parviz Parastui, in the leading role. Merila Zare’ei and Farhad Aslani played other parts. Shooting began in late January in northern Iranian forests and also at the Sacred Defense Cinema Township. Since the leading character is a cleric, the council issuing production permit told Ma’soumi to make changes to the screenplay. Clerics play a major role in social and political affairs in Iran and directors are faced with reservations when casting them. The Lizard (Kamal Tabrizi, 2003), Under the Moonlight (Seyed Reza Mirkarimi, 2000) as well as Gold and Copper (Homayoun As’adian, 2010) have been the most important films on the clergy. Some films featuring clerical figures were never allowed for public screening.
  The Bear runs on a social theme, but is not devoid of melodramatic streaks. Crewmembers include Ali Mohammad Qasemi (director of photography), Ahmad Salehi (sound recordist), Houman Ma’soumi (production designer), Mohammad Reza Qomi (makeup), Fatemeh Seyyedi (continuity girl), Javad Jalali (photographer), Fereshteh Mehdizadeh (production director), and Javad Norouz Beigi (producer).

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