Still Life (1974) - full transcript

For more than three decades, aging Iranian Mohamad Sardari (Zadour Bonyadi) has worked as a crossing guard at a desolate train station. Through the years, Mohamad has done little to stifle ...

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Still Life

- Hello.
- How are you, Mr. Mohammad?

- Not bad.

- How old are you?

- I don't know.

- I really don't know.
- Maybe 60 or 70, Sir.

- How long have you been here?
- 33 years.

- What about my New Year bonus?
- You'll get it, after the New Year.

Give me some tea.

Next time he brings bread, give him money for tea and sugar.

If you give me money, i' ll get a new veil.



- Are you going to a wedding?
- No, I'm just telling you.

-Did you ask for tea and sugar?
- No, I forgot.

- Hello.
- Hello

They say the land's been washed away.

They're lying.

Mohammad says nothing's happened over there.

- Did you ask for tea and sugar?
- No, I forgot.

Give me some money for a new veil.

It won't cost much.

When did you come, son?

Early in the morning. The road was blocked. i had to wait for a car.

- Are you all right?
- I'm fine.

- Where is father?
- At the railway crossing.

Give me some tea.



We have no sugar.

My button fell off.

- On the way here.
- Give it to me, I'll sew it.

- Hello.
- Hello.

- Is my order ready?
- Yes, it is.

- Any news from Mahmood?
- No news.

- Where is he now?
- I think he's in Gorgan.

God be with you.

What weather!
Everywhere is flooded.

I'm afraid it'll wash away the track.

Bring the rug, Mr.Mohammad.

- The design has been changed.
- It's what you ordered.

- Where's the other one?
- It'll take another week.

Nobody buys such rugs any more.

Nobody wants this design.
There's nothing in it for us.

It's not on, coming so far in this weather.

Here's 2200 rials.

We're making a loss.

You don't have to sell it if you don't want to.

She works day and night.
It's not a fair deal.

You're not forced to sell it.
It's up to you.

When did he come?

Just now. Let him sleep,
he's tired.

He must be tired out.

Why didn't you write?

- I wrote you a letter
- I didn't get it.

I sent you a letter.

- When are you going?
- Tomorrow, to Ahwaz.

Where is Ahwaz?

It's two days from here by car.

It's far. It's far.

Pass me the water.

Is the road blocked?

Yes, it's been flooded.

The track will be washed away
at last.

- He's all skin and bones
- Give him some money.

I will, I will.

- Goodbye, mother.
- Goodbye. Write to us.

- God be with you.
- And with you.

You've got a letter.

I can't read. You read it for me.

"The Northern Railway

"Mr Mohammad Sardari,
the pointsman of...

"...the Northerm Region Railway

"We have to inform you,
as from 02/05/1960...

"while expressing our satisfaction
with your services..

"...by vir...by virtue...Mr Mohammad Sardari...

"...the pointsman of the Northern Region Railway

"As from 02/05/1960...

"while expressing our satisfaction
with your services...

"by virtue of Article 77
of the State Employment Act...

"...you will be retired/
The State Railway Company of Iran.

"02/05/1960"

- What does it mean?
- It means you're retired now.

- What does it mean?

Enjoy yourself for the rest of your life.

What is it?

I've been dismissed.

I know who did it. Those three
who came here.

Go and complain.

Say you're got nowhere to live.

I've been dismissed.

- Why don't you sleep?
I will.

- Hello?
- What do you want?

I've been told to come
and work here.

- Who told you?
- The boss.

Which boss?

The boss, you know.

They've sent someone to take my place.

I've been dismissed.

He's sitting out there.

I've been dismissed.

Have you eaten?

Come and have supper.

Go and have your supper.

- I'll check the track isn't flooded.
Why would it be?

- Aren't you eating?
- No.

- Will you take me to the city?
- Get in.

- Hello.
- What do you want?

- I want to see the boss.
- What's your problem?

I must see him.

What's it about?

I have a letter.

Let me see.

Sir, someone's here. He has a letter
he wants you to see.

- What is it?
- A notice of retirement, Sir.

Let me see.

Nothing to do with us. He must go
to the Railway Office.

Yes, Sir.

You came to the wrong place, nothing to do with us.

Then where should I go?

Go out of this door, turn right...

...then left. There's a white building
there, you can't miss it.

Ghassem!

- What do you want?
- Nothing.

- What do you want?
- A drink.

Want yoghurt as well?

Ghassem!

He bought the land cheap. Now he won't even sell it at 550 rials a metre.

Come in.

What do you want?

Well, what's wrong with it?

God bless you, you're retired now.
Go away.

Go, go.

I never look good in photographs.
Look how beautiful she is.

- Do you know her?
- She's got married.

This is my mother's cousin.

He's in the States now. He's very well off, he has a shop there.

And this is Mustafa.
He used to have a moustache.

Here, have some sugar.

You're still here?

How old are you? Go, go.

Where can I go? I've served
for 30 years.

I've no place to live.

God bless you. Take your letter and go.

Go away. God be with you.

We'll hire a car and call on you on Friday.

- You said the same thing last week.
- The kids didn't let me come.