Makeup Artist

- IRAN / 2021 / Persian / Color / DCP / 76 min

Director: Jafar Najafi
Photography: Fereidoun Najafi
Editing: Emad Khodabakhsh
Sound: Bahram Yousefi
Sound Design: Arash Ghasemi
Music: Sattar Oraki
Producers: Shahab Tabatabei, Fereidoun Najafi
Source: Jafar Najafi

Mina agreed to marry only on the condition that she could go to university and study to become a makeup artist. But suddenly her husband threatens to find a new wife if Mina doesn’t stay home to take care of their young son and support their family business. She calls his bluff and makes a play of finding a woman to be a good mother to their son, stubbornly sticking to her guns as she quarrels with him. In addition to this core strength of hers, she radiates with compassion in her sincere acknowledgement of the sentiments of her mother-in-law’s generation. Mina, determined to realize her dreams, not only refuses to succumb to her husband and mother-in-law’s fierce opposition, but also paves her own path and pushes forward along it. Gradually, it looks as if the people and world around her are starting to change . . .

[Director’s Statement] Portrait of a woman whose husband adheres to ancestral traditions and lives in a village. The woman believes that if time goes back, she will have another choice. As a young mother she is not sure that she will achieve her goals, but as a make-up artist she is trying to remove the dust of traditions from people’s faces by “making” faces. Using the dialogue and challenge created between the couple and the nomadic people, a picture of love is seen. It first creates frustration and then a kind of suspense in the audience. Although the color is painful, some kind of humor is used. All of this takes place in pristine nature and beautiful geography, the visual attractions of nomads and the capacity that lies at the heart of the subject to capture the audience. This documentary refers to the policies and cultural environment that govern the women of this land through the conversations of women and tribes. I sometimes ask questions and sometimes stand back to watch the characters interact in front of the camera. In this film, reality always takes us to unexpected and unimaginable places. In fact, this documentary is a picture of the Bakhtiari people’s continuous and intelligent struggle for survival, the Bakhtiari tribe crossing difficult and snowy paths, the tribal members’ efforts to achieve their goals and the efforts and zeal of women who work alongside men on this path.

- Jafar Najafi

Born in 1986, Najafi is a student of cinema at the Art University of Tehran. A photographer, researcher and documentary filmmaker. He has directed some short documentaries for TV while his own first short documentary Asho (2019) has been screened at many national and international film festivals around the world and won the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary and numerous other awards around the world.