A DRAGON ARRIVES! (EJHDEHA VARED MISHAVAD!)
North American Premiere
A densely layered, postmodern pastiche of disparate genres and perspectives, Mani Haghighi's A DRAGON ARRIVES! reenacts the confounding circumstances surrounding the 1965 suicide of an exiled political prisoner, whose body is found in an abandoned shipwreck on a remote desert island. A bright orange Chevrolet Impala announces the arrival of suave police inspector Babak Hafizi. His investigation is quickly diverted when, dismissing local folklore, he buries the body in the ancient cemetery adjacent, prompting a mysteriously localized earthquake. Hafizi then calls in a geologist and an eccentric sound engineer to investigate the quake. What follows is an increasingly fantastic string of events featuring an expansive network of characters, extending to Haghighi's own grandfather, Iranian New Wave filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan. Integrating political allegory with personal history, Haghighi adds a uniquely absurdist voice to a continuing exploration into the nature of truth in cinema. — Malin Kan
Born in Tehran in 1969, Mani Haghighi's films include ABADAN (2004), MEN AT WORK (2006) and CANAAN (2008). He has also acted in several films, including Asghar Farhadi's ABOUT ELLY (2009), as well as his own film, MODEST RECEPTION (2012). A DRAGON ARRIVES!, his sixth feature, was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.