The Persian Crocodile

Crocodile–human relationships are still largely unexamined in cinema, which no doubt has to do with the reptile’s unwillingness to engage in attempts to get closer. Also in Houchang Allahyari’s and Maziyar Moshtagh Gohary’s documentary The Persian Crocodile, this relative of the dinosaurs is mainly experienced with a wide open jaw—prepared to defend against human advances with a sudden snap at any moment. However, in this case, the crocodile, a particularly impressive example due to its size, desperately needs help as it has become imprisoned in a cistern following a flood in the southeast Iranian city of Balutschestan. It has no chance of escape on its own. A stand-off: on the one side, a frightened, recalcitrant animal, and on the other, two men who want to free it but are not so sure of how.
Allahyari’s film pursues the luck of a “found situation”—an "animal trouvé," as it were. The Austrian-Iranian director was doing research on a project when he came across this archaic, real-time drama in the course of which a confrontation unfurled whose dramatic progression contained a parable-like tone: the approach to the reptile, its capture (with carpet, net, and rope) as well as the multiply repeated failed attempts can be viewed as an example of human inexperience in subjugating nature. Allahyari and Gohary (who even helped briefly in the rescue action) focus closely on the highly amusing event in which sympathy, like in a boxer drama, gradually turns to the side of the one who successfully resists. Only, this is not a meeting of opponents in an athletic match, but instead, a clash of two entirely different perspectives on how to survive.
(Dominik Kamalzadeh)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

Orig. Title
Das persische Krokodil
Year
2012
Country
Austria
Duration
58 min
Category
Documentary
Orig. Language
Farsi
Subtitles
english
Credits
Director
Maziyar Moshtagh Gohary, Houchang Allahyari
Concept
Tom-Dariush Allahyari
Cinematography
Moin Najari, Alireza Esmat Panah, Maziyar Moshtagh Gohary
Music
Faszle Khaleg, Maste Tavakoli
Editing
Daniel Kundi
Sound
Moin Najari
Production
allahyari filmproduktion
Available Formats
Blu-ray (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,77
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
colour
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,77
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
colour
Festivals (Selection)
2012
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films (Best Short Documentary)
Duisburg - Duisburger Filmwoche
Lima - Peru Int. Short Film Festival
2013
Buenos Aires Festival Int. de Cine Independiente BAFICI
Kaunas Int. Film Festival