Insight previews Empty Handed but Standing Strong

Posted on by Becky Padley

Insight blogger, Kasia Wiśniowska, watches Empty Handed but Standing Strong, a shortlisted film by Babak Nabizadeh.

Empty Handed but Standing Strong (Dast E Khali Del E Por) is a film produced, directed and written by Iranian filmmaker, Babak Nabizadeh.

The film depicts a couple of days in the life of an ordinary family, living rather modestly and quietly. A grandfather goes fishing in the morning, whilst a teenaged boy is seen running and playing by the pond and we see a mother expecting a baby bustling around the kitchen. The director helps us to observe their life closely, revealing all the cracks of a normal life, asking more and more questions with a powerful visual presentation.

This Iranian drama touches on the subject of faith and belief in so many ways, not only in religious ones. Faith is portrayed as the ‘fuel’ of human life with belief in little things is on par with believing in God, as God is seen in everything. Having faith in other people and a better tomorrow is also equally essential, with faith bringing hope, and hope being a basis for happiness.

Nabizadeh is another filmmaker provoking important questions as he presents the audience with this difficult topic. Is it worth just having hope or is it better to accept reality and to not believe in change? Which of these options has the potential to be more disappointing?