Home Feature "A man who ate his cherries" (Mardi ke gilass hayash ra khord)

"A man who ate his cherries" (Mardi ke gilass hayash ra khord)


Director: Payman Haghani
Scriptwriters: Payman Haghani & Hamid-Reza Keshani
Director of Photography: Farshad Mohammadi
Editor: Behrang Sanjabi
Music: Selection of Chopin and Rachmaninoff
Sound Recorder & Mix: Mehran Malakooti
Assistant Director: Chakameh Marandi
Executive Producer: Reza Mehranfar
Investors: Amir Samavati & Payman Haghani
Producer: Amir Samavati
Cast: Hassan Pourshirazi, Asha Mehrabi, Reza Afshar, Maryam Khodarahmi, Bagher Soroosh, Iman Enayati and with presence of Hamed Behdad
B & W ,Color, 35 mm, 1:1/66, 16/9, 77 min, 2009, Iran

Reza, a simple worker, who is suffering from sexual incompetence, is convicted by a family court to pay the marriage portion to his wife who is seeking a divorce. In order to provide the money and prove that he is a capable person, he has to consider a few options. Remembering one of his co-workers who lost his fingers while at work in a factory and who received compensation from the insurance company, gives him an idea.

A Man Who Ate His Cherries -- Film Review
By Elizabeth Kerr, Hollywood Reporter, October 13, 2009 02:10 ET

BUSAN, South Korea -- A man with alimony troubles is at the center of "A Man Who Ate His Cherries," a beautifully shot film that's appealing in its ordinariness. Reminiscent of "A Light in the Fog" because of its black and white cinematography and focus on the mundane, the same distributors and festivals could likely show an interest here. There's an enormous difference in the two films' thematically, however, that may bode well for "Cherries."

Reza (Hassan Pourshirazi) is a factory worker who goes home one night to discover his wife Zari has packed up and left him. His inability to have children has finally become too much for her. Soon enough he's served with divorce papers and demands for her dowry -- what the rest of us would call alimony. Zari plans on buying a house, and is willing to deal: 25 million tomans cash, and she'll drop the rest. While Reza is trying to find a way to finance his wife's move up the standard of living scale, a colleague that lost two fingers in an industrial accident returns to work, announcing that he received a respectable payout from the company.

"Cherries" is surprisingly free of politics (other than the matrimonial kind) and has an accessible tone that separates it from much Iranian cinema. Reza's domestic angst, common in so many homes around the world, gives the film a sense of universality that is recognizable anywhere. The bland, urban Tehran that Zari strikes out in on her own is not too different from any other city despite what we see in the media, and her difficulty navigating it has been experienced by women in countless cities.

Its clear things are heading for disaster of some sort when the fingerless co-worker reappears. By that point Reza has reached desperate levels, and it doesn't take an Andre Bazin scholar to figure out where the film is going. Pourshirazi is suitably low-key as the frazzled Reza, going about his search for a way to support his wife with a deliberate but anxious calm. "Cherries" holds no stunning revelations or heretofore-unknown truths, but it's a nice reminder that average Iranians suffer the same miseries as the rest of us.


Payman Haghani was born in Tehran in 1982. His memorable days of primary school began when the Iran-Iraq war ended. Later he dropped out of university and managed to pursue his real passion, filmmaking. He made his first short film "Cell No. 3" in 2001 which was a success. He then seriously started to study cinema. Besides making short films and documentaries, he has cooperated with many famous filmmakers (in 10 films) as Editor and Director of Photography (in 7 films). "A man who had his cherries" is his debut film.


  • Cell No. 3
  • Photo of Love
  • Nature in Two Views
  • Mehdy's Death
  • A Man Who Ate His Cherries
  • Short Film
  • Short Film
  • Documentary
  • Documentary
  • Feature
  • 17 min
  • 30 min
  • 18 min
  • 60 min
  • 77 min
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2005
  • 2009
  • 2009

  • Festival Do Rio (24 Sept.-8 Oct. 2009 / Brazil)
  • Pusan Int'l Film Festival (8-16 Oct. 2009 / Korea) Competition (New Current)
  • Sao Paulo Int'l Film Festival (23 Oct.-5 Nov. 2009 Brazil) New Filmmaker Competition
  • Mar del Plata Int'l Film Festival (7-15 Nov. 2009 / Argentina) Official Competition Section
  • Denver Film Festival (12-22 Nov. 2009 / USA)
  • Luanda Int'l Film Festival (20-27 Nov. 2009 / Angola) Competition
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Washington DC (8 and 10 Jan. 2010 / USA)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (17 Jan. 2010 / USA)
  • Rice Cinema / Houston (6 Feb. 2010 / USA)
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive (14 Feb. 2010 / USA)
  • Belgrade Int'l F.F. (19-28 Feb. 2010 / Serbia) Competition
  • CPH PIX (15-25 April 2010 / Denmark)
  • Int'l Film Festival "Zerkalo" (The Mirror) (24-30 May 2010 / Russian) Winner of the Russian Guild of Film Critics
  • Kiev Int'l Film Festival (25 May-1 June 2010 / Ukraine)
  • Sarajevo Film Festival (23-31 July 2010 / Bosnia and Herzegovina) Panorama Section
  • Canada's Iranian Int'l Film Festival (20-25 Sept. 2010 / Canada) Winner of the Best Director and Best Actor
  • Al-Kasaba Int'l Film Festival (7-18 Oct. 2010 / Palestine)
  • Ghent Int'l Film Films (12-23 Oct. 2010 / Belgium)
  • Syracuse Int'l Film Festival (13-17 Oct. 2010 / USA)
  • Carthage Film Festival (23-31 Oct. 2010 / Tunis)
  • Third Eye Asian Film Festival (28 Oct.-4 Nov. 2010 / India)
  • World Film Festival of Bangkok (5-16 Nov. 2010 / Thailand)
  • ASIATICAFILMMEDIALE Film Festival (12-20 Nov. 2010 / Italy)
  • Int'l Social Communication Cinema Conference & ROOPKALA KENDRO (15-21 Feb. 2011 / India)
  • Innsbruck Int'l Film Festival (31 May-5 Jun 2011 / Austria) Winner of the Special Jury Award

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