A PIECE OF BREAD
The Title: Yek Tekke Naan
Cast & Crew
Director: Kamal Tabrizi
Screenwriter: Mohammad-Reza Gohari
Director of Photography: Hossein Jafarian
Editor: Hossein Zandbaf
Music: Peyman Yazdanian
Sound: Yadollah Najafi, Naser Shokuhinia
Cast: Esmaeel Khalaj, Ahmad Aghaloo, Hooman Seyedi, Payam Dehkordi, Reza Kianian, Roya Nonahali
Producer: Naser Onsori
Production: IRIB Channel 2
35mm, 93mins, 2005, Color
Born in 1959 in Tehran, Kamal Tabrizi graduated Art University with a degree in Cinema and Television. He began his artistic career at the student's society of Poly-Technique College and then joined the Cultural Section of IRIB where he made numerous short and feature-length documentaries as well as TV feature films. “The Passage” is his first feature film that he wrote and directed. He has also directed two TV series entitled “Tales of the River” and “Years of Rebellion”.
THE PASSAGE 1988
IN THE LOVE SLAUGHTERHOUSE 1990
THE END OF CHILDHOOD 1993
LEILI IS WITH ME 1995
THE MATERNAL AFFECTION 1998
CARPET OF THE WIND 2002
LOOK AT THE SKY, SOMETIMES 2002
THE LIZARD 2003
- Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, October 2005, USA
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, November 2005, USA
- Cinema EastFilm Festival, New York's annual festival for cinema from the Middle East and its Diasporas, November 2005, USA
A Piece Of Bread
Yek Teke Nan
Kamal Tabrizi leapt out of obscure TV work in 2003 with his malicious comedy about a convict disguised as a mullah, "Lizard." Though completely different, "A Piece of Bread" is another curious take on Islam from the inside. It might be called a mystical fable, religious in spirit but non-sectarian, far from preachy and somewhat mysterious in its message. Distant cousin to Ermanno Olmi's "The Legend of the Holy Drinker," it captures, better than many others, the state of grace behind everyday life. Fans of spiritual cinema will be interested in taking a look at this likable if meandering pic.
The action starts on the unlikely note of a footrace along country roads, whose winners will be awarded forest jobs of some kind. In the version screened at the Fajr festival, this metaphorical rat race is barely mentioned again and sticks out as a structural oddity.
In the mountains dotted with goats, villages and even a desert, a miracle has occurred. An illiterate old woman has heard a voice telling her to enter a little mountain shrine, where she is suddenly able to read the Koran in Arabic. Contact with her is rumored to work miracles.
Now everybody who lives in the area is headed for her house, including an army officer sent to check out the fuss. With him is a raw, doltish recruit (Reza Kianian) and a well-known elderly mullah. Their assignment is to debunk the miracle-worker and send everyone home.
The officer painfully abuses the simpleton, who can barely speak Farsi. But as soon as he sends him to fetch water, the boy makes contact with strange characters who appear out of nowhere. These three wise men seem to be directing him on a predestined path toward the place of the miracle. When the officer finds an excuse to go back to the garrison , the young soldier instinctively continues up the mountain.
In a farcical vision straight out of Fellini, the old woman's house has been overrun by curiosity-seekers and vendors, along with the sick and ailing. Pushing his way inside the free-for-all, the old mullah hears her tell what really happened at the shrine. Tabrizi carefully balances the closing scenes, which bring the young soldier's role in the miracle into focus, shifting the tone from realism to reverence. Though the ending is left up to the viewer to decide, it is eerily moving. The use of Koranic verses about the Annunciation to Mary should help Western auds.
Young Kianian's open, glowing face captures the sense of ambiguity at the heart of this strange little film. Rest of the cast are humorously recounted, down-to-earth mercenaries full of worldly realism. The quality tech work by lenser Hossein Jafarian and composer Peyman Yazdanian is a step up from "Lizard.