After a series of short fiction films and winning many awards, the young Iraqi director Saad Al-Asami seeks in his first feature film “Akher Al-Sa’at” to shed light on many important topics in society. It is adapted from the story of the French postman Joseph Ferdinand Chaval, who spent 33-year-old build the perfect palace in France.
Although he relied on the story of the Frenchman Cheval; However, the self-made man skillfully transformed the theme into a scenario that suits the Iraqi environment, given that the human concern is one, and made the story of his film mimic the Iraqi postman Ayoub. Read also Horror tops cinema revenues, led by the second part of the movie “A Quiet Place” The Oslo movie.. interviewing the real people behind the political curtain The Egyptian film participating in the Cannes Festival .. “Feathers” tells the story of a husband who turned into a chicken The producer’s resignation and the prime minister absolved of him… the full story of a movie that angered Muslims about the New Zealand massacre
French story and Iraqi speech
“The Last Couriers” is the first feature film filmed entirely in the city of Karbala (south of Baghdad), and the first film to be filmed in the time of the Corona pandemic, quarantine and curfew.
The director, who studied directing at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, as well as journalism at the College of Arts, says that “writing the script lasted for a year and a half, with the help of Iraqi scriptwriter Walaa Al-Manea, and the script won the approval of many film critics, and then he took preparations to start shooting.” which lasted for two months of continuous work day and night.
Despite the great effort that Al-Assami and his team were making, But they were insisting on finishing filming the film as quickly as possible for fear of infection with the Corona virus, and this is an achievement at a time when Iraq is witnessing a tense environment and compelling conditions, whether security or health, and even a general understanding of the importance of cinema.
The idea of the film, according to Al-Esami, is inspired by the story of the French postman Joseph Ferdinand Chauval, who spent 33 years constructing his house and making it an architectural masterpiece in the heart of the French city of Ladrum, which he had to direct according to two contradictory schools of directing, as if he wanted to sculpt himself and from Its environment is another school. The film’s scenario is a hybrid between Italian realism and the French New Wave, as it is a vivid example of (author’s cinema).
Al-Assami asserts that some viewers will find that the film’s discourse is harsh in directing and raising a set of questions about what the characters in the film want to interpret, “and this is the duty of cinema”, given that the high-quality script leads to the production of a film that is acceptable to the masses and critically.
Theme and Characters
Al-Assami has previously won a number of awards, including the Best Film Award from the “Third Babylon International Film Festival” for “The Opportunity”, the Best Production Award at an Indian Film Festival, as well as the first prize for “The Incense Seller” from the “Erato” Film Festival. The International Film Festival in Libya, and the Best Actor Award from the “Baalbek Film Festival” in Lebanon for the artist Sahib Shaker for his role in the movie “Sheikh Noel,” in addition to the Best Screenplay award from the “Youth Cinema” festival in Syria for the movie “Sheikh Noel,” as well as many Certificates of appreciation and nominations.
This film revolves around a postman named Ayoub, whose character is embodied by the artist Raed Mohsen, who works in a rural area, and due to the development of means of communication and the spread of technology and the dramatic transformation of life and the elimination of communication companies on this service, there is no longer any meaning for a postman in cities, so how about regions Rural?, and indicates that the task of delivering messages is no longer functionally acceptable, so he is dismissed, and he becomes unemployed.
The events of the film begin to gradually escalate, to find that the director has begun to present a set of knots that begins with the dramatic escalation of the course of events through his feudal neighbor Abu Nayef, whose character is performed by the artist Iyad Al-Taei, who seizes the land of Ayoub, who is forced to take a trip with his wife Bilqis, represented by the artist The young woman, Ayar Aziz Khayoun (which is her first appearance), and the son Aboudi, played by the child Mahdi Salah, to search for his friend Jassem, whose character is played by the artist Miqdad Abdel Reda, who moved to one of the Iraqi cities after being referred to the pension.
Al-Asami goes on to explain the film’s theme and complexity through the journey that Ayoub takes in search of a plot of land, so that he can build a house on it to house his family, as Joseph Shoval did; But the wind is running unwillingly.
Al-Assami wanted his film to be an outspoken cry in order to break all the “taboos” imposed by clanism, racism, bourgeoisie, military and corruption in our time. Interesting and reflects the features of the characters by working on the content with the value of the formal elements themselves in the film, especially as it links this method to the way of the screenwriter who wrote in the Italian realist way.The film was edited by the young Mustafa Mishaan, and then the film will be converted to sound engineering in order to manufacture the soundtrack and soundtrack for it, and there is an initial agreement with more than one composer to make the musical composition.
Festivals and ambition to participate
In light of the restrictions due to the outbreak of Corona, which prompted production and distribution companies to postpone the showing of their films, which prompted the makers of the movie “The Last Couriers” to postpone its release until normal life returned.
Today, most filmmakers are racing to have their films shown at the most important film festivals. Director Saad Al-Assami says he will try his luck with the big and important festivals, such as the Sundance Festival, Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto. And then other festivals that come in the second line, such as the “Carlovary”, “Locarno”, “New York”, “San Sebastian” and others, given that these major film festivals increase his chances of reaching the most cinemas in the world.
Film critic and historian Mahdi Abbas says that “The Last Couriers” will be the first Iraqi film for the year 2021, and that he has a feeling that he will be in front of a distinguished long film, which is what many art lovers are waiting for from seeing a long feature film and drama after a series of documentaries and documentaries, which were held It has many festivals.
Abbas adds that the film will have a place among advanced and innovative films, expecting that it will win prizes if it participates in international festivals.
Abbas considered that the director and screenwriter Saad Al-Assami is a diligent young man who has previously presented distinguished short films that garnered great prizes and interests.
Corona obsession and the love of achievement
Cinema was not thriving in Iraq, and for many years everyone has been watching the different films produced by international cinema, waiting for an Iraqi movie to roam the cinemas.
The hero of the film, the artist Raed Mohsen, says about the movie “The Last Couriers”, that it carries a simple and daily idea that embodies the condition of the Iraqis, noting that it is not an easy task to tell about the social devastation and the suffering of the simple citizen without lengthy statements.
Mohsen – who has represented more than 60 series with different roles, and this is his third film in his artistic career that extends for more than 30 years – adds that the film tells about Iraqi social situations through a crushed character at all times, and expressed his happiness to work in this film at a critical period.
He says, “As a team, we were thinking of making a movie, racing against the virus and avoiding it until we could complete filming.”