Iran’s Alireza Khatami Reveals Turkish Cast for ‘Things That You Kill’

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Alireza Khatami, the Iranian director who co-helmed “Terrestrial Verses” — which denounced the country’s authority and was the only film from Iran at Cannes this year — is directing “Things That You Kill,” a political drama about the patriarchy set in Turkey and featuring a starry cast.

Shooting recently wrapped in Turkey on Khatami’s new film, which stars Turkish A-listers Ekin Koç (“Burning Days”), Erkan Kolçakköstendil (“Familya,” “Magnificent Century: Kosem”), Hazar Ergüçlü (“The Protector”) and Ercan Kesal (“Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” “The Three Monkeys”).

The Canada-based Khatami’s first feature, “Oblivion Verses,” won the Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti award for best screenplay in 2017. “Terrestrial Verses,” which Khatami co-directed with Tehran-based Ali Asgari, recently premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes. Shot in Tehran after the Mahsa Amini movement started, “Verses” consists of nine tableaus depicting the increasingly absurd and tragic plight that Iranians face in their everyday life with a scathingly ironic deadpan tone.

Khatami describes “Things That You Kill” as “a study of masculinity and the patriarchal system and how these forces shape our identities and our relationships with others.”

In his director’s notes, Khatami also calls his new film “a political self-examination inspired by my personal tragedies.” The death of Khatami’s mother in the drama “serves as a catalyst for the protagonist, named Ali, to begin examining his own upbringing and the violences he has endured.”

“While I now live in Canada and have lived in nine countries across four continents, I have a strong connection to my Turkish heritage through my father’s side,” the director said, underlining that he has always been in touch with Turkish language and culture.

He added that “Things That You Kill” can therefore be “a relevant, accurate, and sensitive film in the sociopolitical and cultural landscape of modern Turkey,” featuring “some of the best cast and crew members in the country.”

“Things That You Kill” is being co-produced by French producers Elisa Sepulveda-Ruddoff’s Fulgurance and Cyriac Auriol’s Remora Films in tandem with Poland’s Mariusz Włodarski (Lava Films), Turkey’s Zeynep Koray and Can Aygör (Caf Film Yapım), as well as Khatami’s own Tell Tall Tale shingle and Michael Salomon’s Band With Pictures, which are both based in Canada. The film’s executive producers are Singapore-based Naomi Despres and Michèle Marshall (Desmar) and Turkey’s Cenk Ünalerzen.

(Pictured above from left to right: Ekin Koç, Alireza Khatami, Erkan Kolçakköstendil, Hazar Ergüçlü)

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