The Willow Tree (Der Weidenbaum)
Under Shahid Saless’ contemplative gaze this short story by Anton Chekhov, which tells a tale of crime and (frustrated) redemption, is recast as a transcendent study of old age. The senile servant Archip, long abandoned by his former masters, witnesses a violent act. He decides to report the deed and so makes his way to the city courthouse... The Willow Tree
transposes the moral stakes of Chekhov’s original entirely into the physical realm: It’s all about the weight and fragility of Archip’s aged body plodding through the sublime countryside and the inertia of big city bureaucrats who couldn’t care less.
West Germany / ČSSR 1984, 97 min, digital version, German with English subtitles. Written and directed by Sohrab Shahid Saless, based on a story by Anton Chekhov. Cinematography by Ramin Reza Molai, Stanislav Dorsic. With Josef Stehlik, Peter Stanik, Milan Drotar, Marian Sotnik, Michal Suchanek, Stefan Adamec.
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