Director: Mohsen Amiryoussefi
For 40 years the cantankerous Esfandiar has prepared corpses for the journey to their final resting places. He works with a dignified widow named Delbar, who washes the bodies of deceased women, and a flighty lad, who incinerates the clothes of the dead. While Esfandiar's mean-spiritedness works against a sense of their community, their shared pariah status draws the three together. While preparing a burial service one day, Esfandiar is taken ill, and so he must begin to face the prospect of his own mortality... and, perhaps, he must even build bridges. Bitter Dream is a bittersweet black comedy that signals the copious talent of first-time feature filmmaker Mohsen Amiryoussefi. With delightful, gentle irony and a non-professional cast, Amiryoussefi offers a down-to-earth and quite idiosyncratic window on death and on the peculiar power of knowing of one's own impending mortality. Bitter Dream received the Camera d'Or Special Mention in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes, 2004.