With Corona in the elevator – and you can’t get out
As of April 2, 2020 | Reading time: 3 minutes
A Canadian started the first Covid 19 film in January. Now “Corona” is finished and Mostafa Keshvari’s film increases our fears many times over. A real-time drama in the elevator.
UAnd now let’s imagine the worst nightmare of these days: You drive a few other elevators, which suddenly gets stuck – and now you notice that a Chinese (!) fellow passenger coughs and snorts and sneezes violently. In other words: Corona is a passenger in the cabin and you cannot get out!
This is the simple but effective plot of Corona, the first pandemic film to be completed. Mostafa Keshvari is an Iranian-born Canadian director, 33 years old, his first short film “I Ran” was invited to Cannes five years ago. In mid-January he started writing his script, after two weeks the script was ready. At the beginning of February he started to build the scenery, which was finished after a week.
Seven people trapped in the elevator
At the same time, he began to cast his seven figures: the sniffing young Chinese, a black elevator mechanic, a generation Y woman, a white racist with a tattooed swastika in a wheelchair, a pregnant woman, the house owner and a roommate who is heavily in debt. Keshvari was lucky enough to finish filming before similar restrictions were imposed in Vancouver as in many other cities. His 63-minute film now consists of around 70 shots and runs as a real-time drama.
Keshvari’s project began at a time when Corona was still called “the Chinese virus”. Consequently, “Corona” is also a film about racism, because before the virus caught everyone, Chinese people in the West were often viewed crookedly and stigmatized: “The idea came to me,” said Keshvari, “when I read the news in an elevator that Chinese Tourists in Canada had been attacked. “
“Corona” is in the tradition of a small subgenre of film history, the elevator film. The inventor of the genre is probably the Frenchman Louis Malle, who tells the story of a murderer who gets stuck in an elevator on the way to removing a treacherous index in his directorial debut “Elevator to the Scaffold” with Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet. The best known became “Abwärts” (1984), in which Götz George, Wolfgang Kieling, Renée Soutendijk and Hannes Jaenicke fought their fights in the elevator of a Frankfurt office tower.
Keshvari’s “Corona” will be unrivaled for the foreseeable future because he is the only one who finished his Corona factory before all filming was stopped worldwide. However, all the festivals on which he wanted to show “Corona” have also been canceled. His film cannot be streamed at the moment.
An unrivaled film
Keshvari, it should be emphasized, is not a crude horror filmmaker. He is a fashion designer, surrealist painter – and poet. In conclusion, therefore, a current aphorism from him: “In times when friends can no longer keep hands in peace, in times when protective masks build walls between the kisses of lovers – in such times be more kind than careful, because your counterpart could be the next one you will miss forever. “