This magisterial chamber play is the dark heart of Shahid Saless’ German period. Set in an empty, closed-curtain bordello in West Berlin, Utopia posits prostitution as the truth of the then nascent service economy. Ruled by their brutal pimp, the women are trapped inside a claustrophobic tomb of eternally recurring humiliations – a thinly veiled microcosm of German society, just after chancellor Kohl had announced his neoliberal agenda of ‘spiritual- moral renewal’. A visceral metaphor for the political climate of the early 1980s.
Followed by a conversation between curator and critic Dario Marchiori and Nikolaus Perneczky, and a reception.
West Germany 1982, 198 min, 35mm, German with English subtitles. Print: Austrian Film Museum. Directed by Sohrab Shahid Saless. Written by Sohrab Shahid Saless and Manfred Grunert. Cinematography by Ramin Reza Molai. With Manfred Zapatka, Imke Barnstedt, Gundula Petrovska, Gabriele Fischer, Johanna Sophia, Birgit Anders.
Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles
is curated by Dr. Azadeh Fatehrad and Nikolaus Perneczky in partnership with the Goethe-Institut London and in collaboration with the Munich Film Museum. With support from the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre, Kingston University (London), Iran Heritage Foundation (London) and Arts Council England. We would like to thank our partner venues Close-Up and the ICA.
This screening is part of the series Sohrab Shahid Saless: Exiles, 4 November 2017 - Friday 19 January 2018. Please see full programme details here