9Fest Online Finalist – BENJAMIN, FISH AND ICE CREAM (Iran)
Director: Mehrnaz Rezvanfard
Writer: Mehrnaz Rezvanfard
Editor: Mohammad Nasseri
Cinematographer: Vahid Shaabani
If you want to catch attention to your film, then chose a name that captures your attention. BENJAMIN FISH AND ICE CREAM certainly captured my interest. And the fact the film came from Iran also made me think about Ice Cream. Ice Cream is not as popular as in western countries and then “fish”? Strange linkage. When you choose a strange title, you expect a bizarre script. But in this case Mehmaz wrote a very simple story which included all the title words.
The film starts off in a very nice living room with husband, wife and kid. The wife is glued to the TV watching a documentary about fish. She wants to do nothing, but watch the TV show and calls over her husband and child, but they not interested. You could feel the tension in the air. Although a family, everyone had their own interests and didn’t seem concerned about the others.
The son wanted ice cream and to play in his room. Being a short film, this opening scene of dysfunctional family worked. You could feel the tension.
The husband watered his plants, then decided to take one of his ailing plants named Benjamin to the roof, for caring. Then on the roof, two girls were playing happily together and a deaf and dumb gardener came over to ask about the plant. Mr. Borzo, the gardener, was open and warm and understood the situation of the plant. I think he also felt the loneliness of the husband and offered tea as a refreshment.
BENJAMIN FISH AND ICE CREAM captured the sometimes difficult times of family life, but brought out, what nature (plants) and an old gardener could do to restore meaning in life.