By Will Barber Taylor
First of all, I’d like to thank you for agreeing to this interview. What do you think Retouch’s impact has been?
You’re welcome. I am happy talking to you too. About the impact of the film, I imagine the audience becomes emotionally and mentally messed up after watching the film, because the film is narrating a morally complicated situation, that judging it is pretty hard and complicated.
Do you think the film accurately represents the way some women in Iran feel?
No, I think the story in beyond Iran. The film is something that many women feel in most of the places in the world. The experience of the screening in different parts of the world and hearing the feedbacks of women audiences in Q&A sessions, proved me that this film is touchable and understandable for many women. In many of these Q&A s this joke comes up that many of them, might sometimes like to do the same with their partners. I insist that it always comes up with laughter and as a joke, but usually a joke has a percentage of hidden reality in itself.
How would you compare the film to your other work?
I think it is a better work, though it is far away from my idealism. Concept wise I have always been concerned with women based dramas, because the most influential people in my life have been women; my mother, my grandmother, my aunts and my partner. From this point of view, I have gone through the same path of many of my previous works. But the difference between this film and others was its good international distribution which was a valuable experience for me.
What was the casting process for the film like?
It was not a very hard job. Because I had written the main role, for Sonia Sanjari from the very beginning and she played it at the end too. Sonia is a kind of actress that with having her, you can picture many complicated human feelings.
What do you hope people will take away from the film?
I hope their brain and heart both stick with the film, to make them think more about the film’s story when they leave the movie theater.
How do you think the film reflects Iranian culture?
I don’t know how, and I really can’t admit that the film is showing Iranian culture. Because the culture of a country, is a combination of many different elements that logically could not fit in a 20 minutes’ film. It might not even be possible to show the real culture of a country, in a 100- episode serial either. Probably the only point that has been shown in this film, from the daily life culture of Iranians, is many contradictions that has rooted in our whole lives. The contradictions that we are constantly try to hide and we like to show it in another way. You can feel this issue in many recent Iranian films.
How did you feel when about the accolades the film has received?
I was obviously happy. The fact that Retouch has been welcomed and liked in a wide area in the world, and has been understandable and sympathetic for many audiences, is my biggest award.
What future projects have you got planned?
A feature long film under the title of “Botox” which has some similarities to Retouch.
With thanks to Kaveh. You can read my review of Retouch here.