Oblivion Verses

Los Versos del Olvido
Director: Alireza Khatami

France, Germany, Holland, Chile, 2017, drama, 92 minutes, spanish with lithuanian subtitles, N-16

Oblivion Verses transports its viewers to the world of magical realism and the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges. An elderly morgue caretaker remembers everything but names. He spends his days looking after his beloved flowers and showing corpses to those looking for their lost loved ones. When protest in a nearby city breaks out and the militia covertly raids the morgue to hide civilian casualties, he discovers the body of an unknown young woman. Evoking memories of personal loss, he embarks on a magical odyssey to give her a proper burial with the help of a mystic gravedigger who collects stories of the dead, an old woman searching for her long-lost daughter, and a hearse driver tormented by his past. According to the film‘s director Alireza Khatami, who grew up during the military conflict between Iraq and Iran, Oblivion Verses is a contemplation of historical amnesia, the politics of memory and forgetting and a homage to those who fight to seek justice for the unknown, inspired by real events.


2017 – Best Screenplay Award, FIPRESCI Award, Interfilm Award, Orizzonti Competition, Venice International Film Festival (Italy).

About the director:

Alireza Khatami was born in 1980, Iran. He is an independent filmmaker whose trademark is folding fantasy elements into otherwise realistic narratives. His works explore themes of memory, trauma and identity politics with dark humor and unapologetic wit. Khatami started his career in 2000 as an assistant to several prominent Iranian directors, including Asghar Farhadi. He later studied visual effects in Malaysia, and then went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree in film production from the Savannah College of Art & Design. His latest short film, Mr. Chang’s New Address, premiered at Directors’ Fortnight of Cannes Film Festival in 2013. After teaching cinema in Beirut for three years he moved to Chicago, where he is now an assistant professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at DePaul University.

Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: Alireza Khatami

Dir. of Photography: Antoine Héberlé

Cast: Juan Margallo, Tomás del Estal, Manuel Morón, Itziar Aizpuru, Julio Jung, Gonzalo Robles