Interview mit Regisseur Zagros Manuchar

Zagros Manuchar_kotimaa

© Finnland-Institut

An einem sonnigen Mittwoch Abend im Juni, inmitten der Fußball Weltmeisterschaft, haben sich nichtsdestotrotz einige Finnland- und Filmbegeisterte zusammen gefunden und haben im Finnland-Institut den Film SALPA gesehen. Nach dem Film haben wir mit dem Regisseur Zagros Manuchar ein Gespräch geführt:

kotimaa: After watching the film, we are especially interested, why you choose this topic for your first feature film?

Zagros: I wanted to show how violence can develop and where it comes from. I was born in Iraq and came at the age of 5 with my family as a refugee to Finland. At this time there was a lot of violence in my home country. But I always was wondering where this violence comes from. In my opinion it is not because of seeing all these violent things in front of you. It comes from your background, from your childhood and your way of growing up. I wanted to show one aspect of the origin of violence.

kotimaa: Did you recollect this topic from your own personal history or your experiences?

Zagros: There are some points in this film that I took from my childhood. I was stuttering as a child. But I wanted to show in general how loneliness and to be kind of an outsider can be the key for how you react later as a grown up. The stuttering stands for all kind of things or problems, children can not solve by themselves. Children need help of their family and friends to get out of their troubles. They can not solve their problems alone.

kotimaa: The complete absence of the mother seems to play an important role in Henri`s life. With her he can speak quite fluently. Is the break-up of father and mother in your intention causal for the boy`s problems?

Zagros: That´s just one point of view. The mother is always there – in the loneliness of Henri. In his behavior and his ticks you can feel that the mother is there in his mind.

kotimaa: We were wondering about the title. Why is the film called „Latch“/“Salpa“?

Zagros: It is this kind of emotional latch that we sometimes have. The boy can´t get out of his situation. He lives in a jail, he can not break out by himself.

kotimaa: The young protagonist Elis Lindfors is great in his role as Henri. How did you find him and how did he prepare for the role and especially for the stuttering.

Zagros: I found him in a small theater group. I worked with him almost for 15 months. He actually is a very open minded and social boy, more expressive than calm. So he had to learn, how to behave when you are in a situation like the boy in the film. We became friends in that time. And this helped him to be quite open in front of the camera.

kotimaa: We noticed that the film was shot on 35 mm. Why did you choose this kind of „old-fashioned“ material?

Zagros: It was a conscious decision to use this material. The quality is still the best and because of this limited amount of material you really have to concentrate on the filmed scene. You don´t shot a scene fifty times as you maybe do it with digital technique. Your work – and the work of the whole film team – is more focused. But nevertheless digital technique also has a lot of benefits and I don´t exclude that I will use this technique prospectively. But for this film it was the best I could use.

kotimaa: Why did you decide to have no music in the film?

Zagros: Actually I planned to use music in the film. But as I was cutting the film, I recognized that music probably destroys the magic of some of the scenes. I decided to do it without music, because I did not want to let the music take control over the pictures. They should speak for themselves.

kotimaa: Can we watch „Salpa“ in german film theatres? Or in other countries?

Zagros:No, unfortunately not in Germany but it has been shown is several international film festivals. We also have an international distributor for future screenings. Materials and more information can be found at

kotimaa: Are you working on new projects at the moment?

Zagros: At the moment I`m busy with my study, but yes I work on a new project. But I will take my time to develop it step by step. This is how I work.

Zum Film:

Salpa − Latch (dt. Riegel) erzählt die Geschichte eines stotternden Jungen, der sich wegen seiner Sprachstörung als Außenseiter fühlt. Er versucht sich in einer Welt, die ihn nicht verstehen will und in der er sich nur schwer ausdrücken kann, zurecht zu finden.

Der Regisseur:

Der Regisseur und Drehbuchautor des Filmes, der 23-jährige Zagros Manuchar, kennt das Erlebnis, Außenseiter zu sein, selbst nur zu gut. Er kam 1994 mit seiner Familie als Flüchtling nach Finnland. − Der Film lief bereits auf mehreren internationalen Filmfestivals und -Wettbewerben.

Nun bleibt uns nur noch vielen Dank an Zagros Manuchar und natürlich das Finnland Institut zu sagen. Wir hoffen, dass die Zusammenarbeit auch weiterhin so gut funktioniert.