Magdalena – A Cuban “Lost in Translation”


Magdalena is High Gadfly’s recent co-produced short narrative with Black Factory Cinema and Escula Internasional de Cinema y TV in Cuba. This film’s production was supervised by Abbas Kiarostami and his notes and ideas helped the director Armen Sarvar to create a universal story of miscommunication as both Farsi speakers were struggling to deal with language barriers throughout their stay in homogeneously Spanish speaking Havana.

One of Kiarostami’s most favorites in the workshop, this story is derived from Armen’s personal experience and conveys a comical story about a photographer in the third level of a building who is asked to knock on the door of an apartment by a fella from the bottom. The rest is Armen’s fantasy embodied in a seven minutes short.

Here’s Abbas Kiarostami’s taken on the short after watching the first draft of the edit: “This is a great short film, because it tells the universal story of miscommunications between cultures in a very simple yet intimate way. The film avoids cliches and complexity and prefers to go straight to something that could happen to any of us on any given day.”