The Mysteries of a Harmless Room: Exploring Amir Motlagh’s Three Worlds.

Amir Motlagh has a knack for making films that leave me feeling moved and raw. They also challenge me to evaluate my connections — or lack thereof — quite keenly. When I sat down to re watch Motlagh’s film “Three Worlds” so I could write something meaningful and cohesive about it, I had three questions written down that I wanted to write the answers to:

What is Three Worlds about?

What’s a memory worth?

What can science fiction be?

Let’s explore what some of my thoughts were when I tried to answer these questions.

Image Source: Amir Motlagh’s Three Worlds. Used with permission.

What is Three Worlds About?

Three Worlds is, on the surface, about a man who gets a procedure that changes his perception of everything.

But really, Three Worlds is a three-part melody about memory: a tone poem in film form.

How’s that?

I’m not going to engage in a plot synopsis. This isn’t that kind of film.

The clues are there, and much like I believe I know what happened in the film Eraserhead, I believe I know what happened in Three Worlds.

From the opening, with its intimate framing of a memory recounted, Three Worlds is enveloping in its concept. The opening scenes involve questioning the senses and perceptions of self. To reduce the film to a ‘plot’ is to miss the entire point of its experience.

Instead of getting caught in the layers of story, I’ll focus on what Three Worlds makes me think about.

There’s a theoretical framework in psychology that describes the levels of experience an individual has in their life. The three worlds are the internal world, the interpersonal world, and the external world.

Image Source: Amir Motlagh’s Three Worlds. Used with permission.

The internal world refers to an individual’s subjective experiences, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. It includes the conscious and unconscious mind, as well perceptions of self and the world . The internal world is influenced by past experiences and relationships. It shapes…

Jamie Toth, The Somewhat Cyclops

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