Atefeh Aminzadeh, Saleh Shahbazi, Ali Gerashi, and Mahmoud Alipour
Masoud Ghafouri, Keivan Mohseni
"Bog" an Involving, Iranian-made Short Film
There's a certain thrill that comes with being a film journalist who covers short films. It's an awareness that quite often you're discovering new, up-and-coming filmmakers and other film industry professionals. There's also an incredible joy in discovering international voices, especially those from places your government would try to cast in a negative light.
So, you can probably imagine my joy when I opened up my e-mail and found a submission from Keivan Mohseni, the Iranian co-writer/director of the short film Bog, a short film based upon a true story of the economic crisis that occurred in Gerash, a city described by the filmmaker as a "conservative, highly religious, somehow hypocritical, small city with unique customs and traditions."
Experimenting with the action/thriller genre with this story, Bog is ultimately about money and what it does to people. As Mohseni notes "As long as there are money and power, there are greed and corruption too, and people go down deeper in the bog."
Shot in both Gerash and Lar, Iran, Bog is based upon events that unfolded in 2008 when a fake company gained the trust of a wide range of small and big investors. In a scene that seems to unfold quite regularly here in the U.S., a large part of these investments was never returned to the owners, resulting in a series of frantic conflicts between the investors and the shareholders. The story centers around Mohammad (Ali Gerashi), one of the core members involved in the fraud and the story largely unfolds around a wedding ceremony that could disrupt at any moment with the expected news of this corruption.
Bog is an intelligent, involving film with a fine central performance by Ali Gerashi as Mohammad, a man trying to salvage some of his money before everything explodes. Indeed, he is at the heart of a story and this central theme of how money and power corrupts.
Admittedly, from an American perspective this is not the kind of film that one expects to see coming out of Iran yet it is really a universal story as such themes are far from limited to one country or one region. The film's ensemble cast is strong across the board, the film only occasionally showing signs of being a lower-budgeted film.
Mohseni handles multiple responsibilities within the film including producing, lensing, editing, sound, and even visual effects. Production credits are strong throughout the film, Mohseni's lensing especially capturing the sense of action and anxiety that one would hope for in such a film. Mike Hall's original music complements the film quite nicely, as well.
For more information on Bog, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic