Lotfollah is a brick factory supervisor, acting as go-between for the workers and the boss. The boss wants to talk to the them about the shutdown of the factory. All matters now to Lotfollah is to keep Sarvar, the woman he loves, unharmed.
Despite a strong tradition of film realism in Iran, Ahmad Bahrami’s The Wasteland turns an obsolete brick factory and its milieu into an allegorical tale. The secret love of Lotfollah (Ali Bagheri), the 40-year-old keeper, for Sarvar (Mahdieh Nassaj), a female worker, remains unrequited as their Kafkaesque world spirals through monotony down to its predictable demise. The stark images, scant dialogue, and repetitive motions of the characters create a dreamlike environment that could stand for anything anyone wants to read into it: a city, a country, human society. No matter how you look at it, it’s a dreary place.
The hero, the only one who seems to care for anyone other than himself, broods in hopeless eros while everything around him crumbles into oblivion. Yet, despite its bleakness, the film is infused with the sentiment: a doleful sentiment stemming from the love for one’s land, people, culture, and yes, finally, from an inexhaustible love for humanity.
Director & Writer Ahmad Bahrami
Touraj AlvandAli BagheriMajid Farhang