Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2017 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project Sons of the Judge
Category BIFF Mecenat Fund
Project Sons of the Judge
Director Reza HAERI
Country Iran
Director's Profile A filmmaker and curator based in Tehran. He won the Grand Prize at Cinema Verite ? Iran International Film Festival for his documentary Final Fitting in 2009. The following year, he received the Grand Prize and Best Documentary Prize from Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival for his film All Restrictions End. This documentary was shown at more than twenty film festivals including IDFA and Berlinale. He founded Tehran Cine Club and Tehran Documentary Forum during 2005 to 2014. In 2016, he received Best Documentary Prize from Iranian Film Festival (IFF) - San Francisco for With These Hands (42′). In 2017, Reza HAERI curated a Retrospective of Sohrab Shahid Saless in Tehran.
The story begins with a family photo taken of my grandfather, the late Ayatollah Haeri and the highest judge in Iran (1940-1964), alongside his six sons (my father is the 2nd from right). None of the sons became a religious figure like their father, but they followed his position as lawyers and judge, each of them with a different political ideology from each other. The subject of this film takes roots in my personal history. My father was a judge, and the world of justice served as my first school. This is a personal story through the relation of Camera and Court that I intend to investigate and show some of the most significant of Iranian social and political History.
Director's Note
In this project, I will go back to my own past, to my childhood. I will keep relying on this personal filiation in order to keep a living dimension a sensitive one. Nevertheless, this reflection will, of course, go beyond the simple frame of my family. It will address the status of image within the exercise of justice. Why should we publicly present a trial? What is the purpose of showing prosecutors or judges’ interrogations? What is the purpose of showing the defendants, the accused? What does the film of an execution and the photos of condemned prisoners altogether tell us? Within this film, I would like to understand how such a tradition got developed in my country, to what extent it allows us to understand the nature of justice, and, more largely, of Iran’s political history.
Still Cut