Slamdance 2020: Majnuni

Majnuni, Iranian-American director Kouros Alaghband’s first feature, takes on a storytelling style where, perhaps, it’s all up to you in the end.

With long, fluid takes studying the characters and their movement throughout Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, buildings and streets, the film centers on Adnan, a gruff billy-goat-looking creeper who helps a drunk American embassy worker make it home to his local family, only to later stalk the family members, including a weird scene where he chases their train, and begin entwining himself in their lives, while also seeking out his true love, Nela. From watching the family on a TV set to confronting Nela on the street to an awkward cab ride with Nela, you’re with Adnan the entire film. But is he really seeing private moments in the family’s lives? And is Nela really his lost love?

The title, Majnuni, translates to a longing that makes a lover go insane in Persian and Arabic. Certainly that’s the case for Adnan, as it’s often difficult to tell the difference between his fantasy (aside from grandiose musical numbers) and reality.

Don’t go in looking for a totally coherent story, or beautiful singing from Ado; you won’t find either. But if you want a director’s stunning work of art to examine, and to attempt to answer what is and what is not subjective reality, this could be for you.

Shown in Croatian with English subtitles

Upcoming screening:

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 11:15 a.m., Treasure Mountain Inn, Park City

Read more of our Slamdance and Sundance coverage.

Jaime Winston
Jaime Winston
Jaime is a contributing writer for Salt Lake magazine. Formerly, he served as our editorial intern, then as our assistant web editor, and, finally, as our web editor. While he covers many different topics, he is especially interested in nerdy entertainment, from FanX's artist alley to Sundance's Midnight screenings.

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