A Film by Rafi Pitts
2010/ Iran/ Col/ 90 minutes
14 th July 2013; 5.45pm
Perks Mini Theater
Directed by, written by and starring Iranian born filmmaker Rafi Pitts 2010's The Hunter follows the exploits of a man named Ali Alavi (Pitts) who makes a living as a night watchman at an automobile manufacturing plant. His job is not particularly exciting but he has a bit of a past (we learn that he did a stint in prison) and he is at least content with it. He gets his only real happiness from his home life where he shares his spare time with his loving wife and young daughter.
The Hunter's first hour is a remarkable and nearly pilotless visual essay. The film grows more obvious, when Ali finds himself pursued by the police. Imagine then his terror when Ali comes home from work one day and finds that his wife and daughter have gone missing. What follows are the actions of frustrated Ali which leads to his capture by the police and the drama between the two cops who capture him.
Pitts plays his lead character with very little dialogue, instead using body language and facial expressions to convey emotion, particularly sadness and at times even some very raw desperation. This style of acting suits him, his face seems at times to be made of stone, more a sculpture made of granite than anything made of flesh and blood. He does a great job of playing a man hardened not only by the loss of the only two people who mattered in his life but also of a man hardened and quite fed up with the political system that surrounds him and which has proven ineffectual.
Dark not only thematically but visually as well, The Hunter is a very nicely shot film. Potts knows what he's doing both in front of and behind the camera, as the film moves at a good pace and is well structured and edited quite efficiently. The film is challenging, intelligent and technically accomplished and it builds nicely to a conclusion that is not only surprising but also entirely appropriate.
Rafi Pitts was born in Mashad, Iran. Rafi spent his childhood in Tehran, where he lived in a basement flat underneath a post-production studio. He describes himself as having been a 'very bad' child actor, starting in films at the age of eight. He came to England (his father is English) in 1981 during the Iran Iraq war. He graduated in 1991 from the Polytechnic of Central London with a BA (Hons) degree in Film and Photography.His first short film, In Exile (1991) was presented the same year at the London International Film Festival. In the 90's Pitts moved to Paris and worked on films by Leos Carax, Jacques Doillon and Jean-Luc Godard.
Educated in France and England, Rafi Pitts belongs to the new wave of Iranian cinema, which received numerous prestigious prizes in the international festival circuit. In 1996 he had the opportunity to film in Iran and describes himself as having been the first film director (in exile) to do so since the Revolution in 1979. His first feature Season Five (1997) was the first Franco-Iranian coproduction since the Revolution.
In 2006, he was nominated for Golden Bear award of Berlin Film Festival for his movie, It's Winter. His 2010 film The Hunter was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.