A look into an authoritarian future: Shirin Neshat “The Land of Dreams”

Updated 10/25/2022 2:24 PM

On Monday evening, Sherine Neshat presented her new movie “The Land of Dreams” in Switzerland. It shows what happens when authoritarian regimes don’t resist, said the Iranian artist and director in Bern.

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Simin (Sheila Wand) is the so-called “dream hunter”. She drives through the Midwest on a surreal road trip that collects the dreams of the people she visits. Received the census minutes, the most important authority in the authoritarian government. However, at home, she transforms them into something new and artistic, slipping into the roles of the interviewees and reciting their dreams in front of the camera in a kind of Persian-language performance.

Like Shirin Neshat, the main character in “The Land of Dreams” is a native of Iran who lives in United State spirits. She cannot recognize either culture 100%. In general, Simin is very close to her personally, she said, growing up in an interview after the screening of the film. She is also a photographer and “gay has a masculine side and a feminine side”.

In the future, the United States closed its external borders. To control people, their dreams are recorded. As a “dream hunter”, Simin drives and collects sometimes strange dreams that often reveal bitter truths. “Dreamland” starring Sheila Vand, Matt Dillon, William Mosley, Isabella Rossellini, Anna Jean and Christopher MacDonald, will hit theaters November 3.

macho and romantic

Along with Simin, Alan (Matt Dillon) and Mark (William Mosley) are central characters in satirical comedy. According to Nashat, the two men embody two American clichés – the macho cowboy cliché, and the romantic, naive hippie. This idea came from screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrier (“Le charme discrete de la bourgoisie”), who died in 2021. As a Frenchman, he had a similar foreign view of the USA. “I took that idea and took it to the extreme.”

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Simin, who traces an unsolved family secret in the film, feels attracted to both men. But she is driven more by her growing suspicion of her employer, who is subverting people’s dreams, manipulating Americans and isolating them from the rest of the world.

The first female revolution

“The movie is a warning,” said Sherine Nashaat at the Rex Cinemas in Bern. A glimpse into the future of a country in which the population does not defend themselves against an authoritarian regime. And, of course, in this context, she spoke about the events taking place in her native Iran. A country where the threshold of authoritarianism has long been crossed.

You can see her hope when she spoke of the “first women’s revolution,” “the most beautiful and bravest uprising in the world.” Sherine Neshat, who confirmed that she is an artist and not an activist, asked her in turn Switzerland To support the people who are fighting for freedom and justice in their country.

“This is not a local issue, it is a global issue.” Nobody knows what the future will look like “but its beauty is in the hands of the people.”
© Keystone-SDA

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