President, The

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Dark satire by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. After a coup, a dictator comes face to face with the people he has oppressed for years. He flees the presidential palace together with his grandson. While the old man faces the seriousness of his acts, his innocent grandson continuously asks bothersome questions.

In an unidentified country an old dictator boasts to his grandson about his power. He shows the boy how he can have all the lights in the city turned off with just one phone call. Another phone call and the lights come back on. Looking out over the city from the presidential palace, the boy picks up the phone and asks to turn the lights off and back on. It works!

But when rebels throw a coup, there is a price on the head of the dictator. He is forced to flee together with his grandson. Disguised as street musicians they travel across the country, heading for the coast. On their way, the former dictator comes face to face with people who have suffered from violence, poverty and oppression under his reign.


Mohsen Makhmalbaf
France, Georgia, Germany, United Kingdom
119 minutes
freedom of speech, association etc., military, armies, political killings & disappearances, politics & democracy, poverty, prison & detention, torture, war & armed conflict