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Year: 2003
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Maryam Moghaddam, Kamal Naroui
Director: Babak Payami
Country: Iran
Language: Farsi (English subtitles)
UK: 95 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains mild violence and language
UK Release Date: 11 June 2004 (Limited Release - London)


In a remote village, a young woman is spared from execution based on a claim that "criminals must go to hell, but an executed virgin will go to heaven." Urging on the completion of the task, a local spiritual leader weds the virgin to her eventual executioner. The Executioner must face the woman as his bride, prisoner and future victim...

The Executioner finds himself in a whirlpool of doubt. He has always been a true believer in leader Haji and his cause. Now he finds it difficult to understand Haji's sudden altering of the law.

The Executioner's eyes are soon opened to the power struggle between Haji and the Muezzin, the man who recites the call for daily prayers. The consequences of disobeying the ruthless Haji become all too clear. Haji and his circle of followers will stop at nothing to hold their control of the poverty and drought-stricken village.

Despite Haji's disapproval, an old woman from the village insists the Virgin accompany the other village women for the traditional pilgrimage into the mountains. The Executioner turns desperately to the past for answers as the threat of violence increases...

SILENCE BETWEEN TWO THOUGHTS is Babak Payami's follow-up to his internationally successful SECRET BALLOT. The film was premiered at the 2003 Venice Film Festival in a digital version after the banning of the film by the Iranian authorities and confiscation of the film's negative. The film is a harsh story about the terrible dilemma of a people whose religious convictions are used to rule them with an iron hand.

Artificial Eye will release this film in the UK on a 35 mm print, which reveals the primitive beauty in Farzad Jodat's cinematography. Director Jafar Panahi (THE CIRCLE) and Babak Karimi are credited for the stately pace of the editing. Slow pans reveal the parched land and the exotic rituals like women dancing in the dust. Farzad Jodat and Babak Payami made the beautiful sand buildings by hand, using ancient building techniques.

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