SXSW Film

Reviews and interviews

Letters to the President

Documentary Feature, Special Screenings
D: Petr Lom

Czech-Canadian filmmaker Petr Lom accompanies an entourage of Iranian press on trips with Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the countryside. It's shocking to see the numbers that come out to see the leader as he mingles with them, stopping to talk and hug – a man of the people basking in their seeming adoration. (Support for his administration's familiar themes are proclaimed on well-placed signs bobbing in the crowd – "Death to Israel," "Death to America," and urgings to keep up the nuclear program.) The government encourages the citizenry to write letters, asking for any help they need, and it claims to answer 76% of the 10 million letters that are sent each year. The letters reveal the desperation of the poor, lurking just beneath their civic pride. And then we get the frank, openly contemptuous and damning comments of other social groups, those in the city – disaffected youth, women wearing make-up – and the big picture seeps through.


Saturday, March 21, 1:30pm, Alamo South Lamar

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SXSW 2009

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