A Moment of Innocence (1996)

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Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Cast: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mirhadi Tayebi, Ali Bakhsi


Years on from his knifing of a policeman during the days of the Revolution, the director resolves to make a film about the event from two perspectives, that of his young self and that of the victim. The actual policeman will direct his own segment.

The Review

This remarkable film, in its unassuming way and through a combination of humour, bitterness and poetry, achieves a series of meaningful payoffs and ends on one of the most impressive freeze-frames in the history of cinema. It has moments where it breaks out of its static medium shots and long takes so that suddenly the camera becomes part of the action, tracking, reliving and recording even when its counterpart is in the frame as well. We are thrown into the midst of this defining moment in two men's lives, only to have it snatched from us by the innocence of its re-enactors.