Kino Lorber has acquired U.S rights to the top prize winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, “There Is No Evil,” directed by Iran’s Mohammad Rasoulof, who on March 4 was sentenced by Iranian authorities to one year’s imprisonment for three of his films. He was also banned from making new films fro the next two years.
Set for a Fall release, and then a VOD and home video bow, “There Is No Evil,” turning on the enforcement of the death penalty in Iran, was filmed in secret and smuggled out of the country. Rasoulof himself was unable to attend the Berlin Festival with his Golden Bear award being picked up by his daughter.
An omnibus feature, “There Is No Evil” frames four stories of men and the moral challenges they face when encharged with carrying out the death penalty. The film received glowing reviews, Peter Debruge at Variety observing that “There Is No Evil” “comes across as four films for the price of one, none of its segments anemic, and each contributing fresh insights to the paradoxes of capital punishment in Iran.”
“There is No Evil’s” U.S. deal was negotiated by Kino Lorber senior VP Wendy Lidell and Film Boutique’s head of sales Julien Razafindranaly.
”I am very happy that Kino Lorber is once again distributing one of my films in the U.S.,” Rasoulof himself commented:
He went on: “With their selection of titles they demonstrate that cinema can be entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time, confronting the audience with questions of choice and morality.”
Lidell added, “About halfway through watching ‘There is No Evil,’ I knew it was destined to win Berlin’s Golden Bear. Told with great insight and compassion, this story of personal soul-searching is both uniquely Iranian and superbly universal. We believe it will resonate deeply with Americans during these extraordinary times.”
“We are really glad that ‘There is No Evil’ has been so well-received since its premiere at the Berlinale,” Razafindranaly added. “Today it is with the same level of happiness that we team up again with Richard, Wendy and the whole team at Kino Lorber in order to bring this year’s Golden Bear to American audiences very soon.”