Magazine article Variety

Haghighi Dives into His Pic's Black Humor

Magazine article Variety

Haghighi Dives into His Pic's Black Humor

Article excerpt

IRANIAN DIRECTOR AND actor Mani Haghighi is a Berlinale aficionado. His gender-bender "A Dragon Arrives!" made a splash when it launched from the fest's competition section in 2016. Now he's back in competition with black comedy "Pig," in which a serial killer is decapitating famous Iranian directors and blacklisted filmmaker Hasan is upset that he isn't considered important enough to be one of them. Haghighi spoke to Variety about this timely pic.

There are several blacklisted directors in your country, most notably Jafar Panahi. Would you say "Pig" reflects the current creative climate for film directors in Tehran?

The main thing I want to make clear is that "Pig" is a comedy; it's a parody of the situation. It's never the case with this film that anything directly signifies or references anything specific in Iran. Everything [in the film] has gone through a filter of humor and irony and parody to get there.

Yes, but it seems somewhat based on reality.

It's referencing some things, but it's not referencing a person, or a group of people or anything like that. Of course in Iran it's not just Jafar [who is blacklisted]. But there isn't an actual list of directors who are unable to work....It's not a cut-anddried situation. The film is referencing the kind of mood that has been dominating the film industry and culture in Iran for a very long time.

There's a lot of narcissism at play.

Yes, in a sort of perverted and weird way this guy feels like he's been sidelined or disregarded by the killer.... He's beginning to feel like, 'Maybe I'm not as important as I thought I was. …

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