The Vulture Short Film Review

★★

Directed by #KondorShekari

Written by #KondorShekari

Starring #AboalghasemShekari #PedramAzarshib

Film Review by Lisa Ogunmayin

The Vulture documentary film

The Vulture is a documentary film that addresses the age-old battle between rural towns and large corporations.

The issues raised are what you would come to expect when a mining company rolls into a peaceful, farming town that thrived among a treasure of granite rock. Noise and air pollution, destruction of farming land, and the changing landscape are a few of the complaints lodged by the locals living by the Karkas mountain range in Iran. On one hand, the townspeople are relatively poor but content until the miners arrive; their lack of knowledge about their rights and other legal jargon has rendered them helpless in fending off this intrusion. On the other hand, the mining work has provided a job and salary for some. This benefit, at least to the people of Karkas, doesn’t outweigh the disadvantages and harm caused by mining.


Up until you see the first person onscreen, the film opens and is narrated as if watching a nature documentary. As it continues, it gives the impression of watching an Al Jazeera special news report. If its title ‘Vulture’ is meant to describe the mining company, it seems quite appropriate as the town is suitably named Karkas. The background instrumental music even makes the miners and their work seem more menacing than they are.


Getting through the subtitles in this film might be a struggle in places as the translation had some errors which made some sentences a bit confusing and the yellow text against the backdrop of some scenes was hard to read. This doesn’t take away from the overall understanding of the film, it might just be a little frustrating.


37+ minutes (viewing time before the credits) is relatively long, considering the message the director was trying to get across. Shots of the beauty of the landscape and ancient buildings are understandably used to emphasise the need for preservation. However, an audience may see this as excessive and somewhat boring. Additionally, many of the concerns were repeated throughout the film by the same people; a lot of which could have easily been condensed and edited more concisely. Consequently, rather than truly sympathising with the locals, one might simply see them as disgruntled farmers.


Overall, audiences will understand the helplessness felt by the townspeople of Karkas, especially due to their lack of legal knowledge. They’ll be amused at the farmers’ crude attempts to block roads to the mountains and ultimately resort to hoping for the best for the people of Karkas.

#LisaOgunmayin