For the occasion of cinema’s century, Mohsen Makhmalbaf the most controversial and popular Iranian film-maker, runs casting advertisement in newspapers for 100 actors to audition for parts in his new film, Salam cinema.
Some 5,000 showed up! And a near riot occurs.
In the next eight days Makhmalbaf auditions 1000 applicants and shoots all the procedures as the main part of his film. He probes applicants to see why they want so desperately to be actors and to what extent they are prepared to go in order to reach their goal.
Cinema cinema is a film about Makhmalbaf making Salam Cinema.
Through a behind-the-scenes approach we discover how he works with his crew and how he is able to manipulated himself.
But Cinema Cinema is not just a making-of-film. Through its fascinating and intimate interviews with applicants, Cinema Cinema offers a portrait of contemporary youth culture in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Something which is rarely seen by western eyes.
While following Makhmalbaf from his home in down town Tehran to its final hit premiere of Salam Cinema in the “Un certain regard” section of the Cannes Film Festival, we discuss issues such as Iranian attitude towards individualism, competition, love, male chauvinism, woman’s rights and the differences between (cinema of) East and West.
Makhmalbaf opinions and ideas on these issues will prove to the viewer why he is the most controversial and popular Iranian film-maker in 94 years of Iranian film history.
Original Title: Cinema Cinema
Director: Mani Petgar