Category Archives: Latest News

Screening at 59th Krakow Film Festival

dir. Mania Akbari, Douglas White | United Kingdom, Iran | documentary | 2019 |
An intimate documentary where a story about corporeality is interlaced with traumatic experiences from the past. Film letters of the director and her partner are intertwined with medical documentation, family photographs or takes from the underground. What seems to be an accidental collage is a coherent artistic expression of a contemporary woman.
https://www.krakowfilmfestival.pl/en/59th-kff/films/?fbclid=IwAR0_DFHDWYMVdymfVR4zRVO8cuz1nrsbNTPprscXGtq49Eop8TEPoPKabD8

Screening at Art Centre in International Flying Broom Women’s Film Festival

An intimate documentary where a story about corporeality is interlaced with traumatic experiences from the past. Film letters of the director and her partner are intertwined with medical documentation, family photographs or takes from the underground. What seems to be an accidental collage is a coherent artistic expression of a contemporary woman.

Prior to seeing A Moon for my Father, I was uncertain of what to expect from the combination of sculpture and cinema, or sculpture in cinema. But this dialogue turns out to be incredibly productive and successful. The film insists on the materiality of things and of bodies, and confronts the viewer with the brutishness of physical processes, without sentimentality and without allowing familiar narratives (of heroism/melancholy/tragedy/triumph-over-adversity) to mediate or soften bodily facts. I loved the move from human tissue to milky latex, to palm trees, to the exhumation of an ants’ nest, the discovery of a fruit bat’s corpse, of an elephant’s skin, to the impossibility of smashing open a safe with an axe — and the way paying attention to the mute testimony of such objects speaks to processes of transformation, of decay, of death and of life itself. In the film, objects and materials also link to memories of Iran. Not only to girlish memories of childhood loves, but also to the collective memory of so many damaged, mutilated bodies produced by the decimation of the Iran-Iraq war, and the invitation to consider how those wounds, like the filmmaker’s, may be made visible and may be worn with pride. Finally, after following various tangents and digressions along the way, the circularity of the film brings about another kind of revolution. The artifice of sculptural and surgical reconstruction, by turns objectifying and dehumanising, improbably makes way for the miraculous appearance of new life. By Miranda Pennell
https://www.biletinial.com/sinema/ben-bedenim-ulkem

A Moon for My Father review – a poetic meditation on body and beauty. By Peter Bradshaw,

Mania Akbari reaches for the sublime with a dreamlike film that tries to join the dots between past and present.This is a deeply intimate, personal and moving work from the Iranian film-maker Mania Akbari, whose movies have often been meditations on beauty and body image. (As an actor, she is also known for starring in Abbas Kiarostami’s film Ten.) Akbari has made this in collaboration with her partner, the artist and sculptor Douglas White, and the result is a form of digressive-poetic cinema, connecting images and ideas in a dream-associative logic.

It is loosely structured around the idea of letters written between Akbari and White, alternating voiceovers as they muse on how what is happening to them to now relates to their family and childhood. Akbari speaks in (subtitled) Farsi on these occasions, but in English to everyone else. The film opens with material shot about five years ago: a very candid scene of Akbari being photographed in a hospital suite after a double mastectomy; as the months and years go by, she will prepare not merely for reconstructive surgery but for her ovaries to be removed to pre-empt a recurrence of cancer, and also to have IVF treatment.
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/mar/21/a-moon-for-my-father-review-mania-akbari

NEW:VISION AWARD 2019, A MOON FOR MY FATHER,

NEW:VISION AWARD
Winner: A MOON FOR MY FATHER (Mania Akbari & Douglas White, Iran)
The winner of NEW:VISION AWARD 2019 is Iranian Mania Akbari and British Douglas White’s raw and performative video work ‘A Moon for My Father’, which held its world premiere at the festival.
On their motivation, the jury says:
“‘A Moon For My Father’ is a complex and generous film about bodies. Bodies of work, bodies of politics and history – an extraordinary artist’s body as host of disease and transformation under pressure – and as the subsequent carrier and giver of life.Like a punch in the gut or a needle in the abdomen, this film demonstrates that as a viewer, the medium of moving images is far more than a retinal and cognitive experience, but one of strong affect and of somatic involvement of your very own body.”
Mania Akbari’s own body is the primary medium and material in her and Douglas White’s raw and courageous film, which with a performative and sculptural materiality documents – and reflects upon – Akbari’s experience with breast cancer, and since then with pregnancy. Akbaris connects her own body to Iran’s political history, and examines the traumas of both as she lives through her illness. Life, death, language, censorship and the artistic process – the abstract suddenly becomes concrete in the face of the possible ending of life, and the beginning of a new life.

The NEW:VISION jury consisted of British artist Ed Atkins, American curator and producer Lauren Boyle and Danish artist Mathias Kryger.

https://cphdox.dk/en/and-the-winners-of-cphdox-2019-are/?fbclid=IwAR1Fy3Ocl5EiowfaWDaFMyZ2yxxON5UT-CH9R8tZSF5l3-TLbZEtPGhRhPw

Mania Akbari’s masterclass at Goldsmiths University of London

In this masterclass, Iranian documentary filmmaker, Mania Akbari, will join us to screen her latest her latest film A Moon For My Father (2018) and then hold a Q&A with the audience.
A Moon For My Father by Mania Akbari and Douglas White,UK/Iran/Germany, 2018, 75 min,English and Farsi with English subtitles.
Written and directed by London-based Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari and her partner, the British sculptor Douglas White, A Moon For My Father (2018) considers the mysterious connections between death and loss, memory, love, family ties, the body, birth and artistic creation. The film takes an epistolary form, drawing on several years of written correspondence between Akbari and White. Deftly interwoven alongside the letters are family photos, archival footage from Iran, imagery from White’s artwork, and scenes of the couple’s everyday life together. As Akbari undergoes surgeries on a body decimated by cancer, remembrance and reconstruction provide a framework for investigating how bodies are traumatised, censored and politicised, and yet ultimately remain a site of possibility.A rare opportunity to see A Moon For My Father, the latest film from Iranian documentary filmmaker Mania Akbari, with a Q&A after the screening In this masterclass, Iranian documentary filmmaker, Mania Akbari, will join us to screen her latest her latest film A Moon For My Father (2018) and then hold a Q&A with the audience. A Moon For My Father. Directors: Mania Akbari and Douglas White UK, Iran, Germany, 2018, 85 min., English and Farsi with English subtitles Written and directed by London-based Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari and her partner, the British sculptor Douglas White, A Moon For My Father (2018) considers the mysterious connections between death and loss, memory, love, family ties, the body, birth and artistic creation. The film takes an epistolary form, drawing on several years of written correspondence between Akbari and White. Deftly interwoven alongside the letters are family photos, archival footage from Iran, imagery from White’s artwork, and scenes of the couple’s everyday life together. As Akbari undergoes surgeries on a body decimated by cancer, remembrance and reconstruction provide a framework for investigating how bodies are traumatised, censored and politicised, and yet ultimately remain a site of possibility.
“>https://www.gold.ac.uk/calendar/?id=12408&fbclid=IwAR3WWMrgGfklldl26BDj_u1xoXJa44H8ZXAssgC4–NfEHwQ1A1BgEm4SgA

Essay Film Festival 2019 at the ICA

Written and directed by London-based Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari and her partner, the British sculptor Douglas White, A Moon For My Father (2018) considers the mysterious connections between death and loss, memory, love, family ties, the body, birth and artistic creation.The film takes an epistolary form, drawing on several years of written correspondence between Akbari and White. Deftly interwoven alongside the letters are family photos, archival footage from Iran, imagery from White’s artwork, and scenes of the couple’s everyday life together. As Akbari undergoes surgeries on a body decimated by cancer, remembrance and reconstruction provide a framework for investigating how bodies are traumatised, censored and politicised, and yet ultimately remain a site of possibility.
https://www.ica.art/films/a-moon-for-my-father-discussion

CPH:DOX International Doc Film Festival.

A Moon for My Father, at CPH:DOX International Doc Film Festival.
Courageous, raw and performative video work about the Iranian artist Mania Akbari’s first-hand experiences with both breast cancer and pregnancy. Mania Akbaris’s own body is the primary medium and material in her and Douglas White’s raw and courageous film, which with a performative and sculptural materiality documents – and reflects upon – Akbari’s experience with breast cancer, and since then with pregnancy. Akbari connects her own body to Iran’s political history, and examines the traumas of both as she lives through her illness. However, there is no lack of spirit and courage, and the same goes for the will to give the indescribable a meaningful form. Life, death, language, censorship and the artistic process – the abstract suddenly becomes concrete in the face of the possible ending of life, and the beginning of a new life. The work on ‘A Moon for My Father’ started a few weeks after Akbari and White first met, and we become witnesses to how a both artistic and closely personal relationship develops between them along the way. An uncompromising work, which stays with you for a long time.
https://cphdox.dk/en/programme/film/?id=1003