Moein Ruholamini - 'The City of Honey' Director Q&A
Undoubtedly one of the most accomplished films at this year's festival, Moein Ruholamini's The City of Honey shows the shocking brutality of violent extremism from a child's gaze. It's a film we were massively keen to learn more about, and can confidently say his Moein's answers do not dissapoint!
VFF: Many film viewers (myself included) love watching pieces filmed as one continuous take. What are some of the challenges and benefits of this?
MR: The use of this technique has been done with the aim of separating from the common techniques of cinema and bringing the viewer closer to reality.
To artfully design this story, I needed an idea that would allow the current situation, especially the events of the war, to be conveyed in the simplest way without the slightest interference, and to remove the director from the narrative.
VFF: The performances from your child stars are wonderful, how did you all create such fantastic performances?
MR: I saw a certain sweetness in the children's work and decided to recreate this story from the children's point of view. Continuous practice was the best way for the actors to perform better and get closer to the dramatic situation. This process was both difficult and strengthened my artistic idea. With each practice session, the children's connection to the story and my connection to the idea I had in mind increased.
VFF: What made you want to create a film centered around violent extremism?
MR: I have always thought about the fate of children on the subject of war, so I tried to look at the challenges of this inhuman phenomenon from the perspective of children.
VFF: The children in your script engage in make belief and escapism within the confines of their car. How important do you think is it for film, and art more generally, to offer a chance at escapism?
MR: With the outbreak of war and similar social events, man is forced to find a safe place, although it is difficult to find a safe haven against the extremist behavior of some extremist groups, so we are showing a picture of children's dreams and placing spectators next to them. It makes them experience liberation from war for a short moment. Of course, this may be a suggestion from the movie City of Honey.
For more on this spectacular film, cast your eyes back to our blog post of September 9th 2020 for a full review.