France | 99 MINUTES | French, Farsi |
FLOWERS OF EVIL
Paris-Tehran. Forced to leave Tehran after the controversial elections in 2009, 24-year-old Anahita desperately relies on her laptop and smartphone to stay connected to the friends shaping the revolutionary movement in her homeland. Captivated by Anahita's urgency and sense of purpose, Rachid—a young French-Algerian bellhop at her luxury Parisian hotel—tries to impress her with videos of his improvisational, parkour-style dance moves on YouTube. Secretly envious of his laissez-faire ways, Anahita dismisses Rachid's apolitical outlook on the world and draws him into her obsessive preoccupation with the citizen-journalist digital reports of government brutality and the rapidly unfolding events. While political struggle is abstract for Rachid, it is the only footing on which he can meet Anahita—and the two begin a passionate and rootless love affair grounded in small acts of protest.
Inspired by the innovative strategies Iranian students used to mobilize the green movement against government-imposed bans, David Dusa powerfully and viscerally binds a fictional romance with real footage collected from YouTube, Google Video, and Twitter, personalizing anonymous images of violence and testifying to the revolutionary potential of the Internet.