Archive of films Khaled / Khaled

2001, 85 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2002

A raw and poetic drama about a boy who is hiding the fact that his mother lies dead at home. Ten-year-old Khaled is tough and brave but he dreads the idea of having to live with a foster family. He carries on going to school and buying groceries with forged checks. But the neighbours aren’t blind (and can’t have lost their sense of smell)....


Ten-year-old Khaled lives with his seriously ill mother in a cheap flat. The hardened, combative and brave kid learned long ago that it’s no good trusting in those around you. And so when his mother dies he leaves her lying in her bed and acts as if nothing has happened. But he’s got to pay the rent and utilities, get rid of a social worker who comes knocking at his door, and even mend his own pants. Regardless of the struggle, Khaled is determined to wage a quiet war against the outside world and keep his secret as long as possible. This drama by Asghar Massombagi can be taken as a one-of-a-kind thriller, as well as the poetic story of a young outsider, discriminated against because of his social position and racial difference. Shot digitally and with a minimum of funds, the film has the real feel of the everyday as it is played out on Toronto’s Alexandra Park housing estate. And yet the mingling of a child’s ingenuous perceptions and the (literally) physical presence of death radically alters our accustomed take on the world.

About the director

Asghar Massombagi was born and raised in Teheran. In 1986 he emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, and began working to put himself through school. He graduated in film production and computer science at Simon Fraser University. Due his own immigrant experience he has generally employed themes of exile and ethnicity. He has made several shorts: the black comedy Feel Like Chicken Tonight (1998), a lyrical story of an Iranian immigrant on the lookout for work in Vancouver, The Miracle (1999) and Rose (2002), a Quixotesque dramatisation of two men’s search for a long lost love. Grace and Maria are in the works. Khaled is his feature film directorial debut.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Asghar Massombagi
Screenplay: Asghar Massombagi
Dir. of Photography: Luc Montpellier
Music: Mel M´Rabet
Editor: Christopher Donaldson
Producer: Paul Scherzer
Production: Six Island Productions Inc., Sheeraz Productions
Cast: Michael D´Ascenzo, Michelle Duquet, Normand Bissonnette, Michael Kanev, Lynne Deragon, John Ralston, Gerry Quigley, Joanne Boland, Richard Banel, Alex Hood, Bryn Mcauly, Paul Lee

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