Review: ‘Dreams of Dust’

A truck driver, a bride and a boy, linked by a fatal collision, form a strange posthumous family in documentarian Sepideh Farsi's dreamlike first fiction outing. Disappearing then reappearing in various forms, the ghostly threesome enacts various permutations of possible lives, singly or in tandem, as they traverse the Iranian desert.

A truck driver, a bride and a boy, linked by a fatal collision, form a strange posthumous family in documentarian Sepideh Farsi’s dreamlike first fiction outing. Disappearing then reappearing in various forms, the ghostly threesome enacts various permutations of possible lives, singly or in tandem, as they traverse the Iranian desert. With little dialogue, minimal special effects and zero character development, Farsi’s mirage of a road movie is as insubstantial as it is evocative, likely remaining festival-bound.

Helmer Farsi sets members of her makeshift family adrift at various stopping points when not jouncing them along in the truck driver’s dilapidated pick-up. The bizarre and the mundane alternate. The driver watches what may be his own funeral; the bride circles her grieving groom. They follow converging paths in a high-walled maze of empty village streets. Or else the trio calmly picnics by the roadside or peers into the windows of a housing complex. Lensing by M.R. Sharifi invests actors and locales with a sun-baked physicality that paradoxically underscores their displacement. All other tech credits fine.

Dreams of Dust

Iran-France

Production

A Reves d'Eau, Abandad Films production. Produced by Kianoosh Ayyari, Javad Djavajery. Directed by Sepideh Farsi. Screenplay, Javad Djavahery, Farsi.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), M.R. Sharifi; editor, Bonita Papastathi; music, Ardeshir Kamkar, Hossein Samandari; sound (DTS SRD), Mehran Malakouti. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Cinema of Asia), Sept. 4, 2003. Persian dialogue. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Roya Nonahali, Hossein Mahjoub, Mohamad Hemassi.
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