Fifi Howls from Happiness Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 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.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 5, 2014
    100
    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
    90
    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
    88
    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
    75
    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
    70
    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
    70
    A provocative portrait of an artist who seemed hell-bent on destroying his own legacy.
  7. Reviewed by: Charles Bramesco
    Aug 5, 2014
    60
    Farahani’s elegiac documentary takes far more interest in Mohassess the man than Mohassess the artist.

See all 9 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
    10
    Magnificent 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

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