Fifi Howls from Happiness


Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Mitra Farahani’s lyrical documentary explores the enigma of provocative artist Bahman Mohassess, the so-called “Persian Picasso,” whose acclaimed paintings and sculptures dominated pre-revolutionary Iran.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 5, 2014
    You might actually say the documentary itself is Mohassess’s final canvas, so infused it becomes with his alternately infuriating and infectious personality.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Aug 5, 2014
    The lovely ball-&-socket meeting of the two artists' sensibilities is what makes the doc sing, even if it is a chronicle of a death foretold.
  3. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Aug 4, 2014
    Mitra Farahani rescues the doc from becoming a talking-head fest by embracing her creative self as a character and exposing the travails of her own authorship process.
  4. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Aug 8, 2014
    As if to confirm how crucial timing is to documentaries, the artist gives the filmmaker a last performance that helps make her portrait of him as extraordinary as the man it portrays.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Aug 13, 2014
    By its bittersweet end, Fifi Howls From Happiness has stayed almost entirely in one apartment and yet somehow unveiled both a life in full and a blank canvas.
  6. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Aug 7, 2014
    A provocative portrait of an artist who seemed hell-bent on destroying his own legacy.
  7. Reviewed by: Charles Bramesco
    Aug 5, 2014
    Farahani’s elegiac documentary takes far more interest in Mohassess the man than Mohassess the artist.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 25, 2014
    Magnificent in so many ways, this intimate depiction of one of the most interesting and complex characters of pre-revolution IranianMagnificent in so many ways, this intimate depiction of one of the most interesting and complex characters of pre-revolution Iranian contemporary art scene takes your breath away. Expand