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The cinephile Hossain Sabzian passes himself off as the famous director Moshen Makhmalbaf. Of course, one day he gets caught. Based on true events.

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.


How to fictionalize real life without embellishing? It is a question Abbas Kiarostami answers in his films, especially in this 1990 masterpiece. In 1989, Kiarostami read an article about a remarkable con man, who impersonated the famous Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Intrigued, he decided to make a documentary about this impersonator. Gradually, the documentary evolved into a docufiction in which everyone involved acted as themselves: the impersonator, the victims and Makhmalbaf himself.

The cinephile Hossain Sabzian is a great admirer of Mohsen Makhmalbaf's work. One day he is sitting on a bus with the screenplay of Makhmalbaf's The Cyclist under his arm. Mahrokh Ahankhah sits down next to him and tells that she and her family are also fans of Makhmalbaf. Sabzian replies that he is Makhmalbaf. In the following weeks, Sabzian often visits the Ahankhah family, promising them wonderful things for his next film.