The Wasteland

Friday, May 6, 2022 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
woman in dress in shadow standing in archway with darkness and faint image of man behind her

UCLA Film & Television Archive presents free screenings at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum.

Please review our required COVID-19 precautions and updated admission policies.

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U.S. premiere!

The Wasteland

Iran, 2020

With its rich black-and-white photography, rural, seemingly pre-industrial setting, long tracking shots and overriding sense of collapse, dispersal and doom, writer-director Ahmad Bahrami’s The Wasteland displays the unmistakable influence of Hungarian art house legend Béla Tarr. Bahrami’s command of these elements, however, is entirely his own. When the owner of a brick factory announces its imminent closure to the families who work there, it's the beginning of the end for a whole way of life as many of them have labored there for generations. Bahrami structures the film as a series of returns to the owner’s announcement, taking up, each time, the perspective of a different worker. Leaving chronology vague, he reveals the long suppressed secrets and resentments—often deliberately stoked by the patriarchal owner—that have simmered among the ethnically diverse community for years. Brilliantly balancing suspense and revelation, he builds to an ineluctable and devastating finale. Winner of the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film at the 77th Venice International Film Festival, The Wasteland marks an astonishing feature debut.

DCP, b&w, in Persian with English subtitles, 103 min. Director: Ahmad Bahrami. Screenwriter: Ahmad Bahrami. With: Ali Bagheri, Farrokh Nemati, Mehdi Nassaj, Majid Farhang, Mahdieh Nassaj.

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