The slaughterhouse

The slaughterhouse
Running time:102 minutes
Director:Abbas Amini
Release date:28 may 2020
Amir has just been expelled from France and returns to live with his father in Iran. Out of family solidarity, he finds himself involved in an atrocious crime that will lead him to frequent the unseemly world of black market foreign currency exchange. But guilt gnaws at him...

Mulder's Review

As part of our press coverage of the Reims Polar Festival we were able to discover the third film co-written and directed by Abbas Amini after Valderama (2016) and Hendi & Hormoz (2018). While American, Asian and European cinema benefit from a good worldwide distribution, a festival like Reims polar allows some films like The slaughterhouse to benefit from a real visibility. 

In this film, Amir (Amirhossein Fathi), recently released from prison, finds himself in a difficult situation when his father, who works in a slaughterhouse, calls him to help cover up a crime that occurred there. Iranian cinema seems to have its own approach to creating a thriller in Iran that is made up of classes in which it seems impossible to get out. In the same way, some people seem to have to throw away their moral concerns in an attempt to survive in fierce poverty. This approach to a society apart makes this film a more or less convincing mix of thriller and social drama.

Even if the plot is not the strong point of this film in which there is no doubt about the identity of the killer, co-writer and director Abbas Amini seems much more interested in showing the workings of a system in which wealthy perpetrators can continue to act without being bothered and can manipulate people attracted by easy money even if they leave their innocence behind. The slaughterhouse captures our attention with its inspired direction and a cast that is perfectly in tune with the story.

Although the character Amir is released from prison, he does not seem to be a real criminal. He is similar to his romantic heroes. He owes his prison sentence for violence against a police officer who is violent towards migrants. The script takes care of the action as much as it does of giving real thickness to the characters and making them more human and realistic. The slaughterhouse will not appeal to everyone but it is worth seeing anyway.

The slaughterhouse
A film by Abbas Amini
Produced by Javad Norouzbeigi
Screenplay by Abbas Amini & Hossein Farokhzadeh
With Amir Hossein Fathi, Mani Haghighi, Hassan Pourshirazi, Baran Kosari
Music by Mehran Ghaedipour
Director of photography: Ehsan Rafiee Jam
Editor: Hamid Najafirad 
Production: Nebras Pictures
Release date: May 28, 2020 (Iran)
Running time: 102mns

Seen on May 30, 2021 (Reims Polar Festival)

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