Banned from making films in Iran, Mohammad Rasoulof won the Berlinale Golden Bear for this powerful take on the death penalty and its impact on Iranian society.
Over the past decade Rasoulof (A Man of Integrity
, SFF 2017) has faced various legal difficulties and prison sentences. There Is No Evil
is inspired by the moment he saw one of his former interrogators at the bank. At first angered, Rasoulof decided to follow his adversary around – which led him to contemplate the role of individuals in an autocratic state. Through four thematically linked stories about people facing complex dilemmas, Rasoulof captures a society profoundly affected by capital punishment. In his earlier films, like Iron Island
and The White Meadows
, Rasoulof made clever use of allegory in his pointed critiques of society. As additional constraints have been placed on him over the years, his filmmaking has become more direct and more stridently critical. Characteristically intelligent, provocative and brave, Rasoulof imbues each story in There Is No Evil,
with a sense of mystery and moral complexity, resulting in an uncompromising film of great power.
Mohammad Rasoulof was born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1972. His first film The Twilight (2002) won Best Film at the Fajr Film Festival. Following Iron Island (2005, SFF 2011) he has faced issues with censorship laws in Iran. His award-winning films include The White Meadows (2009, SFF 2011), Goodbye (SFF 2012), Manuscripts Don’t Burn (2013) and A Man of Integrity (SFF 2017). There Is No Evil won the Berlinale Golden Bear in 2020.