Main Plot Points:
- Mitra Farahani’s lyrical documentary explores the enigma of provocative artist Bahman Mohassess, the so-called “Persian Picasso,” whose acclaimed paintings and sculptures dominated pre-revolutionary Iran. Irreverent and uncompromising, a gay man in a hostile world, Mohassess had a conflicted relationship with his homeland—revered by elites in the art scene and praised as a national icon, only to be censored later by an oppressive regime.
- Known for his iconoclastic art as well as his scathing declarations, Mohassess abandoned the country over 30 years ago for a simple, secluded life in Italy.
What We Thought:
- Fifi Howls From Happiness is a documentary about an artist I knew nothing about. After seeing it, the viewer learns a lot about him as an artist and person.
- I think the film sort of changes over its course. At first it seems to really portray Bahman Mohassess as a smart and funny man who could have been world famous. It sort of shifts throughout though. It doesn’t portray him in a bad way per se, but it does show some of his flaws later on in his life.
- I liked how he was reclusive and never really wanted to be big. He comes across as quite a character and quite witty. He seemed to really take charge of his life and did things his own way without ever caving in.
- It’s extremely well made. The ending is really good and might actually make the entire film. It’s a good mix of interviews too.
- I’m not big into art. I had no idea how Mohassess was in the first place so for me not to be 100% bored with the film should tell you something.
- Fifi Howls From Happiness is odd and I’m not sure who I’d recommend it to. I would recommend it though to people who would be interested in it. I knew nothing about any of it going into it so maybe if you do, you might like it even more than I did.
- The Eye that Hears
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Bahman Mohassess
Recommended if You Like: