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Good Time with Iranian Cinema

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


I have been lucky with films these days.  My cousin Fahimeh lent me some Iranian DVD films that I had missed on screen.  I love watching movies, and I find this is the best way for me to relax and see movies. I can do it whenever it is convenient and if I don't like it I just fast forward, unless it is really bad. 


Last week, I watched three films in a row. The first was I'm Taraneh 15. It was so good. The film was work of Mr Rasoul Sader-Amlie and Taraneh Alidoust played her part most beautifully.  It was engaging, interesting as it showed so many issues that prevails in our towns and in our lives here in Iran.  


The next film that I enjoyed watching was Friday's Soldiers, the work of prominent Iranian film director Masoud Kimiaie.  The film tells the story of three guys, who meet while serving their military service, and their sergeant, when they come to Tehran on leave on a Friday. The film shows the relationship that develops between the three and the brother of one of them. It shows the pain that each one carries in his life whether rich or poor, traditional or westernized.  I was most impressed with some of acting done by the ladies in the film, Andishe Fouladvand and Marbela Zareie.


The third film was The Fifth Reaction by Tahmineh Millani about a group of women friend who are teachers and how they help each other to combat the harshness and injustice that men bring into their lives. This I had seen many years ago when it was screened privately.  


Last week I was invited to private viewing of a film called Gone with the Wind by Mr Sadre Abdoulahi.  This film was not allowed to be screened for four years and after a lot of negotiation and cuts it recently got permission from the authorities for public viewing.



Golshifteh Farahani



The director wanted to get a feminists point of view.  When I talked to him before the screening, he told me that this is the first political film which is serious.  Well, apart from a few clichéd lines I could not at any time look at this and find it serious let alone political.  Mr Abdoulahi told me he made this film so that in fifty years time, when people review Iranian cinema of today, they will find this film as a source of telling it.  The film is about a young newly-wed couple who goes to Kish and wants to help develop it. In the process, even though he succeeds, at the end he loses his wife and leads a very unhappy lonely life.  She goes to North America, studies and comes back eventually to beat her former husband's firm at a tender.  Is this feminism? No way!  Women have not suffered, tried, studied and aspired just to end up playing silly games of win and lose.   In playing such games everybody will eventually lose.  The film has a few very good sequences but I found it below average even though it had two leading artists.  I hope you sometime get to draw your own conclusions.


Ali Rafie



Earlier this year, I was also lucky to be invited by Mr and Mrs Toscano at their house to see the lovely film Fish Fall in Love by Ali Rafie which recently won the best film at the 7th Aubange International Film festival.  This was wonderful to see.  Mr Rafie who has extensive experience of the theater has made each shot a beautiful picture to look at.  The script, which he wrote, has portrayed the women in this film most interestingly and their relationships with themselves, their world and each other truly profound.  We met the leading actress in the film, Golshifteh Farahani, who was at the private screening along with Mr Rafie and her husband.  This is a great film and I recommend that, if it comes your way, please go and see it and let me know what you think.

... Payvand News - 6/1/06 ... --

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