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A BRIEF PEACE - still #1


(Shahre Khamooshan)
US Premiere

Director: Ata Hayati

Iran, 2004, 52 min

Shooting Format:DVCam

Festival Year:2005

Category:Documentary Feature

Crew:Producer: Katayoon Shahabi - Editor: Mastaneh Mohajer, Special thanks to Mohammad-Reza Moghaddasian, Mahnaz Mostafazadeh - Sound: Behrooz Shahamat - Music: Behrooz Shahamat

Sales:Katayoon Shahabi c/o Sheherazad Media International, 2, 3rd Sarvestan, Pasdaran St, Shariati Ave, Tehran 16619, Iran - T: +98 (21) 286 32 60/61 - F: +98(21) 285 89 62


Twenty years after the disappearance of the young Iranian Ali, his mother can finally bury him. He used to work for the air force and died as a martyr, she explains. She is not the only one who found her loved one after searching for years; many Iranians have only recently had the opportunity to identify their disappeared relatives. At a special cemetery, they are interred collectively. The mourners have had to wait in line to make a reservation for a tombstone, and one man even has the presence of mind to ask for a discount. Through a window, they watch how the corpses are wrapped in shrouds. In many cases, the only remnants are a weathered belt, an old shoe or some bones. The tombstones are meticulously engraved, complete with a portrait of the deceased, carved in stone. Contrary to the westerners who want to prolong their life, for the Orientals and specially the Muslims, death is the beginning of a new life and they embrace it. So there is also time for relaxation: people play a game of volleyball or watch a basketball game on TV. a brief peace presents the culture of death in Iran, depicts how close death and life, laughter and tears or sadness and happiness can be. The cemetery is a rendezvous, a picnic place, a play ground and a training place for the soldiers.

About the director

Born in Kermanshah in 1951, Ata Hayati is a graduate of cinematography from the College of Television and Cinema. He also holds an MA from Art University. As a photographer, Ata Hayati collaborated with television for many years. He has been the photographer and director of photography of many successful Iranian films, and directed two features.

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