33. “A Moment of Innocence”, Mohsen Makhmalbaf (1996)

Part of The 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list

A Moment of Innocence

A Moment of Innocence aka نون و گلدون‎‎ or Nūn o goldūn

dir. Mohsen Makhmalbaf scr. Mohsen Makhmalfbaf cin. Mahmoud Kalari with Mirhadi Tayebi, Mohsen Makhmalfbaf, Ali Bakhsi, Ammar Tafti, Maryam Mohamadamini

In 100 words: Similar in concept to Kiarostrami’s Close-Up, in that it deals with a meta-depiction of a real-life event through the fictionalized (?) shooting of the event in question. Its reflexive qualities are more bracing and provocative, as we watch adults watch themselves onscreen, and the rush of nostalgia that kicks in slowly turning to feelings of fury and humiliation. It’s a stellar depiction of the Iranian Revolution and the sociopolitical ramifications of that event. Innocence is the rare film to function as a succinct essay on what cinema can capture and evidently its inability to recreate exact moments from the past.

Other Movies for Context: I’m not well-versed in either Iranian cinema or Makhmalbaf’s filmography outside of Kiarostrami. But this film also feels like Irma Vep (1995), which features a metadepiction of cinema but far more fictionalized than this.