Torino Film Festival



Germany 2011 (Super8 - DVcam, 63', )


A young man with artistic ambitions lives in a big house with his father, who is forced to do a job which give him no satisfaction whatsoever. Above them hover the memory of his dead mother and their bonds with the unspecified land they come from.


“I combined three Joseph characters from Antiquity times: first is the biblical one which also appears in the Koran. Second is the father of Jesus. Third is Josephus Flavius, a rebel who in the year 67 betrayed his comrades, Jews, revolting against the Roman Empire. [...] I wanted to tell the story of those who ran away. So many wonderful fruits have come to man by running away. Abbas Kiarostami once stated that ‘trees that are moved do not bear fruit,’ referring to his fellow filmmakers who went to exile after the revolution in Iran. By saying that, he not only hurt those specific persons, but he also showed contempt to the fundamentals on which humanity is based. By leaving a place, indeed, it’s harder to make naturalistic films. And as Naturalism is a lie, presenting itself as a truth, I’d rather tell a truth that presents itself as a lie.” 

regia, sceneggiatura, produttore/director, screenplay, producer

Lior Shamriz


David Schmitt

scenografia/production design

Ole Kloss


Valentin Silvestrov


Assaf Gidron

interpreti e personaggi/cast and characters

Horst-Günter Marx (un padre/a Father), Imri Kahn (un figlio/a Son), Hayedeh (una madre morta/a Dead Mother), Rabbi Georges (una nonna/a Grandmother), Liam Ward (un postino morto/a Dead Postman)

produzione, vendita all’estero/production, world sales

Jehuti Motion Pictures

Lior Shamriz

Lior Shamriz (Ashkelon, Israel, 1978) moved to Tel Aviv at 18 years of age to dedicate himself to visual arts and music. He then studied film at the Jerusalem Film School and at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. His self-produced medium-length film Japan Japan (2007) was presented at over fifty international events, including the festivals in Locarno and Sarajevo and BAFICI in Buenos Aires, as well as participating in the program dedicated to emerging directors at New York’s MoMA. His first feature-length film, Saturn Returns, was presented at the 2009 Torino Film Festival, was nominated for the Max Ophüls Award and received a prize at the Achtung Berlin Film Festival.


(Updated to the last partecipation to TFF)


Infantile (cm, 2005), Return to the Savanna (cm, 2005), Ho! Khutz Nora (cm, 2006), Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded (cm, 2007), Japan Japan (mm, 2007), The Magic Desk (cm, 2009), Saturn Returns (2009), Return Return (cm, 2010), Mirrors for Princes (2011).

Friday 2nd December, at 17.00, Greenwich 1




Mirror for Princes. Meeting with director Lior Shamriz and actor Horst-Günter Marx



The project

Lior Shamriz: I found myself immerged into a textual stream because I was making researches on ancient texts (biblical and Sumerian...). While I was studying them I discovered that they could have an extraordinary poetic power and also an amazing contemporaneity that I was interested in bringing into my cinema. I wanted to take again into the visual and narrative spiral which is peculiar of the film that sort of textual vertigo that I felt myself; as a matter of fact I work essentially on non-narrative cinema and, after I produced a short movie on the relation between mother and son, I wanted that in this new film, dedicated to the relation between father and son, the images themselves - edited in some kind of loops - let the plot emerge.


Horst-Günter Marx: The collaboration with Lior was born in a curious way. He proposed me the project sending me some pages written four weeks before the shooting. That seemed to me a practicable undertaking, being a short movie. But when we met, three days before the shooting, I realized I had twenty pages in my hands. Not twenty pages of script, but twenty pages of continuous text, a sort of stream that seemed to me impossible to handle. Furthermore I am German and I do not have an adequate knowledge of English to be able to learn all of that stuff in such a small time. For this reason, in occasions, I had to be substituted by another person and we partly needed to leave space to improvisation. I did not know well what would come out from it, but when I saw the edited film, it seemed to me a great result. Moreover, tonight I have seen it for the first time on the big screen and I really think we can consider ourselves satisfied.


The relation with the past

Lior Shamriz: What I wanted to emerge was a speech on the relation we have with our past, on the need to let a part of our past go and also to remove it, in order to reinterpret it: personal and cultural experiences, depending and thanks to the sediments, to what, from the past, we rediscover as present. My father is Iranian but I do not speak his language, for this reason I cared about reflecting on the matter of a certain incomprehensibility of the past. This is what I feel when I hear my father speaking in his language. For me those are nothing but sounds, a series of incomprehensible sounds. This is a bit like what happened to mankind with texts written in hieroglyphs and cuneiform writing until it was not possible to interpret them. I think that it is somehow necessary to distance ourselves from our past in order to make good use of it. This is what seems difficult to do nowadays, when the past seems to be fully transparent, clear and at reach. The presence of Hayedeh inside the cast is connected with this reflection: she is a very famous singer in Iran but, for political reasons she was forced to leave her country and to move to the United States. But she did not stop singing and she kept expressing herself into the Iranian community in Los Angeles. The fact of being geographically and culturally moved, obliges people in some way to keep their distance from their past and their native culture. I think it would be very positive to get back what we have inside and create a new dimension for you and your references.



Traduzione a cura di Alberto Rosso.

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