Inspired by a short story of the same title by Gregory Burnham and the novel Autoportrait by Édouard Levé, Subtotals is a meditation on the uncertainties of a life that doesn’t hand you any bills. It is an essay wholly composed of 8mm home movies of Iranian people, about an impossible attempt at accounting for one’s life’s products. Have you kept an account of your gray hair? Of the number of houses you have owned or rented? Of the number of kisses you have exchanged? Of the number of times you have flown in dreams? You may not have. It makes no real difference in a life lived beyond numbers.
Mohammadreza Farzad (1978) was born in Iran, Teheran. He started his career as a poet and literary translator. His career as a documentary filmmaker started with Into Thin Air (2011) and Blames and Flames (2012). Both short films premiered at Berlinale Forum Expanded and screened, among others, at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Moscow IFF, CPH:DOX, Hot Springs IFF, Oberhausen, Ji.hlava IDFF, Jeonju IFF, Molodist, and Walker Art Centre. His third and fourth documentary films Forget-Me-Not Egg (2013) and Wedding: A Film (2015) premiered respectively at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Next Masters section of DOK Leipzig and screened in numerous festivals including Ankara IFF, Open City, DMZ, Tempo IFF, and Parnu. Farzad has been a PhD student at the Film Factory headed by the legendary Hungarian auteur Béla Tarr. He is currently working on his first feature film A Gaze Long into the Abyss.