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Audits were applied without the knowledge of the director/ None of the political attitudes are “the last word” true


The director of the movie “The Last Word” emphasized: The audits did not harm the film as a whole, but I protested that the corrections were made without my knowledge.

Charso Press: The movie “The Last Word” directed by Ebrahim Shafiei and produced by Ali Shahhatami has recently been screened in the art and experience group of cinemas in the country.

“The Last Word” is a social film that narrates the story of a judge who issues a death sentence to a defendant and then has doubts about the correctness of this sentence and tries to stop it. This movie raises a social issue that maybe several movies have been made with this theme in Iranian cinema, but the narration of this story from the point of view of a judge can be one of the signs that makes this movie a different work from other similar works.

We had a conversation with Ebrahim Shafi’i about “The Last Word”, which you can read below:

Before the release of the film “The Last Word”, you objected to the re-editing of this work and the producer’s non-cooperation with you to see the final version of the film. Now that the movie has been released, how close do you think the final version is to what you want?

What I noticed from the audits is that the story was not harmed. When I found out about the changes that were made in this film, what I protested was related to the issue of why the producer did not announce it to the director when the film was audited. I don’t have a problem with audits and I know that this procedure exists and is being implemented, in fact I was annoyed that I was not aware of this story and still no one informed me about the audits and no matter how much I tried to talk to the producer about it, unfortunately It has not been discussed and I am following up on this issue through legal channels.

I haven’t managed to see the released version yet, but I know that there has been a change, not much.

In what cases have these changes been made?

What my friends in art and experience have told me is the changes in the dialogues. In fact, in a sequence where one of the movie’s characters complains and talks to God alone, some dialogues have been deleted, or there is a case where when the sentence is read out, parts of it have been deleted, while I consulted with Mohsen Zali, script consultant, I wrote exactly the sentence that is read during the execution. Of course, I haven’t seen the movie yet and I don’t know what exactly happened, but from what I’ve heard, I don’t think the reviews did much harm to the overall effect.

How do you evaluate the release of the movie “The Last Word” in the current situation where most movies fail at the box office?

The movie “The Last Word” is a completely independent work, not even a single rial of the budget of this movie was provided from anywhere else. In Iran, when you talk about independent cinema, you are actually talking about a helpless cinema, which means that you are not going to be supported in the production, nor in the distribution of the film.

Based on the experience I gained in the production and release of the movie “The Last Word”, in my opinion, it is no longer the time to say that there is a good or bad movie, today it is easy to make a movie, but what makes the movie good or bad is the broadcaster. In fact, a distributor can introduce a completely mediocre film in such a way that the work is seen as a masterpiece and win international awards. As in the world, many average films win prestigious international awards throughout the year because they have a good distributor, but because we were independent and did not have much money to distribute, and we did not have acquaintances or friends, this film did not find good conditions for distribution, and as Today, the film has been released in the art and experience group, it is more of an advertising aspect for us to say that the film has been released. Maybe in some places you are proud of working in independent cinema, but in general independent cinema is very lonely.

There is an execution scene in this movie, which caused the movie to be rated +15, but this scene could have been filmed in a different way so that this age rating is not included in the movie. Why did you insist on filming the execution scene in such detail?

To be honest, when I was writing the script, I thought that this scene might get audited, but I still wrote the script with this scene. Perhaps such a scene has not been seen in our cinema until today, but it was necessary for this violence to reach its peak and the event that happens at the end of the film becomes valuable by seeing these scenes. I really insisted that this scene exist.

But I must say that we filmed this scene in two versions because we thought that this sequence would probably be deleted, but fortunately this sequence was not deleted. There were even some other plans that we filmed two versions thinking that these plans might be deleted, but luckily the deletions were limited to a few dialogues and the film was not harmed.

But about the insistence we had on the execution sequence, I must say that this sequence was the most important part of the film, the path of the story was to reach this sequence with these details. We have a proverb that says that the innocent will walk but not on the gallows, I always had this proverb in my mind and it happened in many places that the innocent was saved on the gallows, when I was researching for the script of this work. I encountered such a case and it was a really shocking scene, and of course I must say that I couldn’t perform the exact same scene because if it was meant to be, it would definitely be a terrible sequence, but it was necessary to this extent to reach the concept I wanted. be executed

I think it is the first time that the execution scene is shown in this way in Iranian cinema and I am glad that this scene was not deleted.

The topic of revenge and execution is an issue that has been discussed many times in our cinema, and the most famous work in recent years is “Ode to the White Cow”, which has similarities to “The Last Word” in terms of content. Did you have a look at “Ode to the White Cow” while making this film?

The main theme of the movie “The Last Word” is justice, a topic that is talked about a lot in our society these days and as far as I know, no movie has been made about this concept. We have heard many times that it is said that in Iranian cinema, it is necessary to distance ourselves a little from showing this extent of bitter events, blackness, etc., and with the same formula, I left many of these points aside and wrote a script that does not have these signs. It is really a beautiful illustration and narration.

The movie “The Last Word” narrates the story of a judge who gives a death sentence and doubts whether the execution of this sentence is right or not. For this reason, he tries to prevent the execution of this sentence. The movie “Tale of the White Cow” is very similar to this movie, but the difference is that the story of that movie starts when the person is executed and the judge realizes his wrong sentence and tries to to compensate, but the “last word” of his story is narrated from the time when the verdict was issued and it is going to be implemented.

The important thing for me in this script was to show a judge who, despite having no duty to satisfy the plaintiff, does everything he can to prevent the execution of a human being. In this film, we depicted the sensitivity of the judge’s job, we showed a judge who is kind and even goes beyond the law to administer justice based on his own moral system.

Usually, films with these topics are well represented in foreign festivals. Have you taken any steps to present this film in international festivals?

Like I said, it’s the player who makes the movie succeed or fail. A few foreign networks have bought the film but not enough, and since this is a completely independent film we didn’t have the money to spend on the festival market.

When the film was seen, some people told us that the judicial branch ordered the production of this film, and some told us that you made this film so that foreign streams would support you and be successful in international festivals, while both attitudes are wrong. And we made the film with personal concern.

“The Last Word” is an unassuming film that tells a new story far from blackness, but in the success of the film, it is the broadcaster that introduces the work. In my opinion, the most influential people in cinema today are the distributors, and they can make even an ordinary film a huge global success.

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