In the outbreak of the war between the U.S. and Iraq, a missile hit a large storehouse in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan by mistake. Fifteen years ago, this incident inspired Azarang, who is best known for his theatrical performances, to write a play, but it was never performed.
In early 2020, he decided to convert the play into a screenplay for his first directorial film.
In “Once Upon a Time Abadan”, the missile hits a house in Abadan, making troubles for a family with a father who is suffering from drug addiction.
“In Iran’s abandoned theaters, a play can remain on stage only for 30 days and it may have a maximum of 4,000 viewers, while the thespians would like to share their ideas with a larger number of people,” Azarang said in a press conference after the premiere of his film at the festival on Thursday.
“Moreover, a war story is never a timeworn story. We see its ugly face every day and I feel that it is everlasting because there is no end to human greed, which has frequently led them toward wars,” he added.
“The missile in ‘Once Upon a Time Abadan’ is more of a nobleman that the politicians, who do not show any sympathy towards people,” Azarang said.
“If a politician was in the place of the missile, he surely would cheat the family and cause them more troubles, but the missile of the story is not like that,” he added.
“Gijgah” by Adel Tabrizi and “Expediency” by Hossein Darabi stand second and third on the list of the most popular movies of the Fajr festival, which will run until February 10.