Mania Akbari

Artist-Filmmaker and curator

Voted for

YEK ETTEFAQ-E SADEH1973Sohrab Shahid Saless
TABIAT-E BIJAN1974Sohrab Shahid Saless
Sans Soleil1982Chris Marker
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda
No Home Movie2015Chantal Akerman
4 LUNI, 3 SAPTAMINI SI 2 ZILE2007Cristian Mungiu
What Do Men Want?1921 Lois Weber
Sieranevada2016Cristi Puiu
The Woman of Mystery1914 Alice Guy
DISQUE 9571929Germaine Dulac



1973 Iran

Shahid-Saless’ films are essential for the Iranian minimal cinema movement. In A Simple Event (1973), a landmark of the Iranian New Wave, it is possible to spot, or at least imagine, numerous influences in its aptly described, simple, though no less devastating, story about the death of a boy’s mother.


1974 Iran

A stark, minimalist study of the disposability of the individual in the industrial age. De-dramatised to focus on only the absolutely essential, the film shows an existence defined by a railway track, which is the source of sustenance, but at the same time the cause of virtual exile to the monotonous alienation of being responsible for one single routinised function. It is almost the only link to the outside world, yet it has isolated the individual from any kind of organic link with natural production or broader humanity.

A restrained, quiet film, in which nothing is touched up or beautified, that will reward the patient viewer.

Sans Soleil

1982 France

A poetic and rambling essay film in the form of a letter from a lost and lonely traveller. Marker lets his mind and camera roam through the landscape of early 1980s Japan and his imagination drift across the world. Memory, history and emotion blend into a loving study of human existence.

Cléo from 5 to 7

1962 France, Italy

This is beautiful stuff, more simple but as deep about the life of appearances and consciousness as Hiroshima mon amour. It reminds me of the cheeky Buddhist saying that explains how there has never been anything wrong from the start.

No Home Movie

2015 France, Belgium

Familiarity with, and admiration for, Akerman's work certainly helps. But no question it is experimental, slow and sometimes just plain dull. On the other hand, it also touches things about the end of life – one's parent's and one's own – that are startling and sad, and couldn't be gotten to with a more familiar, comfortable and easy-to-digest approach. The film shows me that cinema is not more important than our life. The film makes new meaning of the moving image for me.


2007 Romania, Netherlands, France

The film was one of the most important films for me. The acting, camera work and cinematography are of the highest quality, especially given the budgetary restrictions and scarcity of available resources. This movie is yet more ample proof that one does not necessarily need a $200 million budget to make a great film. Creativity and originality can add untold dimensions to any physical limitations and barriers. It is a brilliant film.

What Do Men Want?


I love the film and it is a masterpiece of old film for me.



Every character in this film is a self-actualised, 21st-century individual who has come up with their own personal story about how the world works. The film's plot makes that obvious, but the remaining questions are up to you: where are the lies? Where is the truth? What happens to the main character at the end? This is a rather beautiful puzzle to behold. The acting is amazing, as is the camera work, the storytelling and also the cinematography and location! It was an invitation to go into your mind and listen to your mother's story. I love this movie completely!

The Woman of Mystery


When I want to make my films I am thinking about her, that she made many films and was the first woman filmmaker. My feeling is that I am a continuation of her strength.


1929 France

The history of women filmmakers is so important to me. I reread about their lives, watch their films and then start thinking about my next film. Their souls are with me.