World War III
Houman SEYEDI Iran 107 mins NC16 (Some Course Language) Southeast Asian Premiere
A day labourer cast in an epic war film gets caught in an exploitative web pitting life against money, with terrifying outcomes.
Shakib is an unhoused day labourer who lands a job building a film set. Unexpectedly, he is roped in along with fellow workers to be extras in the shoot, playing Nazi extermination camp prisoners. This darkly surreal turn signals mounting stresses in the troubled and dictatorial production which force Shakib into an actual role. With it, however, comes an opportunity to secretly help his lover Ladan, a deaf sex worker, escape her minder. Yet as worlds and lies threaten to collide, what risks will he take for a better life?
Tightly focused on Shakib’s experiences, World War III shows great sympathy for anger against injustice, painting a layered, tragicomic portrait of everyday antagonisms of class and power.
Houman SEYEDI is an Iranian filmmaker and actor. World War III, the sixth feature film he has directed, won Best Film and Best Actor at the 79th Venice International Film Festival’s Orizzonti section. His previous film Sheeple (2018) won multiple accolades at the Fajr International Film Festival and Hafez Awards, including Best Screenplay in both.