''Exodus'' ( fa|خروج|Ḵorouj) is a 2020 Iranian drama film written and directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia. ''Exodus'' narrates the story of Rahmat Bakhshi, a war veteran and his fellow hard-working cotton farmers that lose all their crops after their farms are inadvertently inundated with salt water from a local dam. In response, they drive their tractors to the Presidential Administration in protest. ''Exodus'' screened for the first time at the Fajr International Film Festival, and has created controversy. The film opened on 12 April 2020.




Ebrahim Hatamikia after making of ''The Report of a Party'' (2011), had had an idea to product a film about people's protest against the rulers but didn't reach to an appropriate story until January 2019. At the late 2018, he heard about a real protestical event which occurred on a small town. Hatamikia liked the story, so began screenwriting of ''Exodus'' at early 2019. Shoting of ''Exodus'' begun from a village of Gachsaran County and ended at Qom.


Music of ''Exodus'' composed by Karen Homayounfar. Homayounfar formerly had collaborated with Hatamikia in ''The Green Ring'' (2007–2008), ''The Report of a Party'' (2011), ''Bodyguard'' (2016) and ''Damascus Time'' (2018).


''Exodus'' was scheduled to be screened from March 2020 onwards, but this was changed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the film was instead released online. It is the first feature film in Iran which has had its public premiere on a video on demand distribution system. Furthermore, it has been named as the first film in the Islamic Republic of Iran to be screened at a drive-in theater.


Critical response

According to media reports, Hatamikia's technical ambitions after ''Che'' (2014), ''Bodyguard'' (2016) and ''Damascus Time'' (2018) continues here. ''Tehran Times'' newspaper described ''Exodus'' as a road movie, reminding the audience of the Classical Western films. It also describes wide shots of the cotton and corn farms, and close-ups of the main character with his believable makeup as "eye-catching". Faramarz Gharibian portrays Rahmat gracefully, making the audience believe the character's miserable life, which fuels his deep anger, is only visible in his eyes. According to a review, everything appears to be fine with the film, but the problem starts when Hatamikia tries to turn the film into a tribune for expressing his political views; it seems that the film is criticising the current Iranian government. ''Kayhan'' newspaper noted that the movie has a "reasonable, calm and firm" protest, contrasting against the ''Jokers "revolt theory". Parviz Jahed, a notable Iranian critic, wrote that ''Exodus'' has signs of road movies such as ''The Straight Story'' (David Lynch, 1999) and ''The Sugarland Express'' (Steven Spielberg, 1974), Western movies such as ''Unforgiven'' (Clint Eastwood, 1992) and Peasant movies such as ''Viva Zapata!'' (Elia Kazan, 1952) and ''The Grapes of Wrath'' (John Ford, 1940) but that it does not belong to a particular genre; what comes to mind is a similarity to former Soviet Union patriotic and Socialist realism movies.


Iranian Moderates accused Hatamikia of trying to please the country's hard-liners, pointing out that the film was financed by Owj Arts and Media Organization, which is tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. During a press conference, Hatamikia denied that he has ever made films on request, or ever will. The film was lambasted by Reformists immediately, who described it as a propaganda film commissioned by the radicals to undermine Hassan Rouhani. The government-run ''Iran'' newspaper described the film as "superficial" and "laughable". Reformist Entekhab news site said Hatamikia's talents as a filmmaker were diminishing, and the only way he could get funding was by directly hitting the President.



Further reading


External links

* * * {{Ebrahim Hatamikia Category:2020 films Category:Films about farmers Category:Films directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia Category:Iranian films Category:Iranian drama films