Filmmaker Rafi Pitts: Iran 'On The Verge Of An Explosion'
rferl / Kristin Deasy

The place: a dusty crag overlooking Tehran. The time: late afternoon. The sound: a bullet whistling through the air. The target: a swerving police car. The shooter: Rafi Pitts.

That's from "The Hunter," a political thriller set in modern-day Tehran whose main character is powerfully portrayed by internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Rafi Pitts, who also wrote and directed the film.

Speaking on the sidelines of Prague's March 24-April 1 International Film Festival, Pitts says the thriller genre is a perfect fit for the tense situation in Iran today.

Iran was rocked by a wave of street protests following President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection in June 2009 and has seen sporadic antigovernment uprisings in recent months.

Pitts argues that the best way for the country to deal with its problems is to start asking some basic questions. "I would love to see, you know, a million people in the streets of Tehran just with a question mark," he says, "no slogans."

'A People About To Explode'

His latest film raises its own questions. Featuring an ex-convict who kills two policemen after his wife and daughter are killed in a street shoot-out between security forces and protesters, the film delves into the complex interplay between authority, economy, and justice in modern-day Iranian society. It was shot in Tehran right before the 2009 election protests broke out.

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