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“The Film Conjured Up Many Forgotten Memories”: Director Babak Anvari | Under the Shadow

Under the Shadow

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

I don’t think there is a secret story. The main plot, and the subplots and the themes I wanted to explore, were always clear in my head. I tried my best to be as honest as possible in telling the story I had in mind without holding anything back. I think all of the ideas and themes I wanted to explore are in the final version of the film, whether in a subtle or an obvious way. However, once I started writing the script, I was surprised at how much I remembered about the era! The ’80s in Iran were a very intense time because of the war and the changes that the country was going through. I was only a little child back then, but I think the scriptwriting process and making the film conjured up many forgotten memories – some of them ended up in the film and some didn’t, but all of them are now fresh in my mind. So maybe this is my secret story?

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Friday, January 22 at 11:59pm — Egyptian Theatre]

Sundance Responses 2016

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