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

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Anne S. Lewis
With a History Like That …
With a History Like That …
The Austin Polish Film Festival delves into the country’s complicated past

Nov. 3, 2017

The Past Casts a Long Shadow
The Past Casts a Long Shadow
History is now at this year's Austin Polish Film Festival

Oct. 23, 2015


SXSW 2009

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle