"Iranian Film Today"
Set for 10th year at High Museum
August 24September 29, 2007
July 26, 2007 The tenth annual Iranian Film Today festival
opens at the High Museum this month, featuring ground-breaking films
from award-winning filmmakers. Beginning Friday, August 24, and
continuing through Saturday, September 29, the eight-film series
offers an exceptional sampling of Iranian filmmaking, from absurdist
comedy to poignant character study, from raucous road-movie to humble
The award-winning films in Iranian Film Today are compelling
works of art that also explore a society most often defined in the
United States by news bites and political speeches, said Linda
Dubler, Curator of Media Arts at the High. The humor, passion
and insight with which these directors address issues of womens
place in society, unemployment, marriage and human rights will be
a revelation to anyone discovering Persian film, an art that blurs
the boundaries between fiction and documentary.
Film Today begins on Friday, August 24, with Santouri,
The Music Man from director Dariush Mehrjui, a hit
at the 2007 Fajr Film Festival. This drama centers on Ali, a young
singer and santour player who, after injuring his hand in a fight,
is unable to play, sliding into depression and drug abuse. The director,
producer, and two stars will be present at the screening.
Winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Fajr Film Festival,
Men at Work, on Saturday, August 25, is writer-director
Mani Haghighis comedy of the absurd. In her Tribeca Film Festival
review, Varietys Deborah Young called the film delightfully
droll. . . . Sophisticated audiences will enjoy this thoroughly
modern spoof on masculine fixations, played out in frank, realistic
On Saturday, September 8, Café Setareh from
director Saman Moghadam presents three interrelated stories of working-class
women in Tehran, exploring how codes of moral conduct, family obligation
and gender roles affect Faribah, a café owner coping with
an alcoholic husband; Salome, a young woman who dreams of marriage;
and middle-aged Moluk, who has her eye on a younger man. Varietys
Robert Koehler called the film finely nuanced . . . a dramatic
poem . . . beautifully and realistically captured.
raucous, comedic road-movie Half Moon showing on Saturday,
September 15, features Mamo, an elderly Kurdish musician who is
determined to play in Iraq, where under Saddam Hussein, Kurdish
music had been silenced for 35 years. With his ten talented sons
and a banned female singer, he embarks on a musical odyssey complicated
by bribe-hungry officials, random gun fire and a village elders
dire predictions. Bahman Ghobadi directed.
On Friday, September 28, A Few Days Later. . . from
actress-director Niki Karimi paints a portrait of a modern Iranian
woman, Shahrzad, whose busy work schedule distracts her from her
boyfriend and the disabled son they are raising together. In the
Toronto Film Festival catalogue, Dimitri Eipides notes that the
film . . . pays close attention to how everyday life unfolds
regardless of emotional upheaval.
of the 2006 Golden Hugo for best feature at the Chicago International
Film Festival, Asghar Farhadis Fireworks Wednesday,
on Saturday, September 29, concludes the film series. The fireworks
of the Persian New Year are echoed in the lives of an affluent couple
and their young maid in what Varietys Deborah Young called
a beautifully paced drama about marital infidelity . . . psychologically
intricate and dramatically engrossing.
The tenth annual Iranian Film Today would not be possible without
the assistance of Iranian cinema specialist Reza Sohrabi, who generously
donated his time and expertise to this program.
Film Series Schedule
All films are screened at 8 p.m. (unless
otherwise noted here) in the Richard H. Rich Theatre, located
in the Memorial Arts Building, next to the High Museum at Peachtree
and 15th Streets in midtown Atlanta. All films are in Persian with
subtitles. Half Moon is in Persian and Kurdish with
Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting the Woodruff Arts
Center Box Office, calling 404-733-5000, or going online at www.High.org.
Admission prices are $5 for the public; $4 for Museum members, students
and seniors; patron-level members enter free. Tickets may also be
purchased at the door on the night of the screening.
Tickets for Santouri, The Music Man are $10 general
admission and $8 for Museum members, students and seniors. Patron-level
members enter free.
For more information, click
here for the High Museum website.