Sponsored by The Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture
These three Iranian films chosen by Professor Roxanne Varzi (Department of Anthropology) show the development of Iranian Cinema from its height, in Bani-Etemad’s little-screened but widely acclaimed May Lady, to new talent in Beautiful City and From the Land of Silence. Their stories take place in the capital and on the periphery, focusing on the middle and lower classes, and in the spirit of Rossellini, spotlight the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Opening night reception April 13 in front of HIB 100
Thursday, April 13 • 7pm
Forugh Kia is a filmmaker and single mother who lives with her teenage son Mani in Tehran. In search of a subject for her next documentary, she sets out to find an exemplary mother, while questioning her own ability to raise a teenager alone in the shadow of the state. One of Bani-Etemad’s best films, May Lady captures life in Tehran, masterfully presenting nuances of romance and motherhood in the face of strict censorship.
Directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
1998, Iran • 88 minutes • 35mm • in Farsi w/ English subtitles
Saturday, April 15 • 7pm
Featuring wonderful performances from a talented young cast, Beautiful City begins with the story of Akbar, who is set to be executed for the murder of the girl he loved. His sister, Firouzeh, and his best friend, Ala, attempt to persuade the father of the victim to forgive Akbar and spare his life. But the grieving father is stubborn and will only agree if several challenging conditions are met. Meeting these demands becomes more complicated when a relationship begins to develop between Ala and Firouzeh. This moving and eloquent second feature from director Asghar Farhadi asks the ultimate questions about love, friendship and sacrifice.
Directed by Asghar Farhadi.
2004, Iran • 102 minutes • 35mm • in Farsi w/ English subtitles
Thursday, April 20 • 7pm
From the Land of Silence
Set in the harsh-but-scenic sandscapes of the Iranian desert, From the Land of Silence features two young brothers who have taken up questionable employment as a means to survive. One siphons diesel fuel from the tanks of trucks working nearby, only to sell it back to the drivers on their way home from work. The other feeds opium to camels that are used to transport contraband. Their outlook on life changes when one of them develops a friendship with a severely depressed man who seeks refuge in their hometown.
Directed by Saman Salur.
2004, Iran • 70 minutes • 35mm • in Persian w/ English subtitles