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Mohammad Rasoulof’s The Seed of the Sacred Fig – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 11

Mohammad Rasoulof’s The Seed of the Sacred Fig – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 11

The narrative behind Mohammad Rasoulof‘s journey to the Cannes competition (his first) will be talked about for a long time. Escaping his homeland (and an eight-year prison sentence from the country’s authorities for making the film), The Seed of the Sacred Fig is a miracle film. A three-time Un Certain Regard invited filmmaker with two wins for 2011’s Goodbye (won the Directing Prize) and 2017’s A Man of Integrity (won the Un Certain Regard award). Manuscripts Don’t Burn in 2013 was sandwiched by those two. If Rasoulof has a legit chance at winning the Palme, it’ll come directly after winning the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for There Is No Evil (2020). This stars the quartet of Soheila Golestani, Missagh Zareh, Mahsa Rostami and Setareh Maleki.

Gist: The story centers on Iman, an honest lawyer recently appointed as an investigating judge in the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. With his new status, Iman discovers he is expected to approve death-penalty judgments without examining the evidence. He is also instructed to withhold information from friends and family who could be targeted to pressure him. The state provides him with a handgun for his family’s protection, but Iman is woefully unprepared to handle it and fails to store it securely at home. As nationwide political protests intensify, Iman’s life becomes dominated by mistrust and paranoia. He chastises his two daughters for their feminist views, dismissing them as enemy propaganda. When his wife and daughters assist an injured protestor during a demonstration against compulsory hijab, they decide to keep it a secret from Iman. When his gun mysteriously disappears, Iman grows suspicious of the women in his family, believing one of them has taken it and is lying to him.

Current temperature: Many were anticipating the #21 film of the competition to be a big deal and finally this is a huge deal. With 16 of our 20 critics weighing in, we are looking at the official top film of the competition with an average score of 3.7.

Click on the grid below for a larger version and the latest updates!

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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