A glimpse at contemporary life in Iran from the country’s emerging filmmakers,
Views from Iran
, presented by the Walker Art Center, is a series of five engaging new works. Beginning with Manijeh Hekmat’s 3 Women (Sé zan) (March 11, 7:30 pm) and the series of short films 7 Blind Women Filmmakers (7 Filmsaze zan-e nabina) (March 18, 7:30 pm), part of the Walker’s Women with Vision international film festival, Views from Iran resumes with Mahnaz Afzali’s The Red Card (Carte Ghermez) on Wednesday, March 25, 7:30 pm. The film follows the scandal that erupted in Iran during the trial of Shahla Jahed, who was accused of killing the wife of soccer star Nasser Khani with whom she was having an affair, causing a national sensation. The series continues on Wednesday, April 1, 7:30 pm, with Pourya Azabayjani’s Unfinished Stories (Ravayat haye na tamam), the director’s debut feature which offers intersecting stories about three women who have made life-altering decisions. Views from Iran concludes on Wednesday, April 8, 7:30 pm, with Abdolreza Kazhani’s Over There (Aan Ja), winner of the best feature film award at the 2008 Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are screened in the Cinema. Tickets are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Cinephile’s Special: See all 5 films for the price of 3 for $24 ($18).
VIEWS FROM IRAN
March 11–April 8
Wednesday, March 11, 7:30 pm
3 Women (Sé zan)
Directed by Manijeh Hekmat
In this journey of identity for three generations of Iranian women, audacious Minoo, a conservator at the National Carpet Museum, is at the center of a dispute over a pricey heirloom. To complicate matters, while she searches for her missing daughter, her senile mother also disappears—with the precious carpet in tow. Starring director Niki Karimi, whose films were screened at the 2006 and 2007 Women with Vision festivals. A road movie with gorgeous cinematography and exquisite performances, 3 Women is “touched with sublime beauty, humor, and heartbreaking tenderness, [with a] vision of Iran as a place of fiercely independent women and unfathomable depths” (AFI Fest). 2008, 35mm, in Farsi with English subtitles, 94 minutes.
Wednesday, March 18, 7:30 pm
7 Blind Women Filmmakers (7 Filmsaze zan-e nabina)
Short films directed by Sara Parto, Mahdis Elahi, Shokoofe Davarnejad, Narges Haghighat, Banafshe Ahmadi, Naghmeh Afiat, and Neda Haghighat
After a dream in which he lost his vision, Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Shirvani sought to explore the role of sight in cinema and organized filmmaking workshops for blind women. In this episodic compilation, seven Iranian women armed with small digital cameras create intensely personal stories about their passions, familial bonds, and daily challenges. Together, they present new ways of observing blindness. 2008, video, in Farsi with English subtitles, 116 minutes.
Wednesday, March 25
The Red Card (Carte Ghermez), 7:30 pm
Directed by Mahnaz Afzali
Full of more scandal than can be found in an episode of the Jerry Springer Show, the trial of Shahla Jahed engrossed the nation as the sordid details of her affair with soccer star Nasser Khani, his drug use, and the murder of his wife came out in court. Their once tender relationship, revealed in rare home video clips, is in sharp contrast to the frosty tenor both take on the witness stand. 2007, video, in Farsi with English subtitles, 74 minutes.
Wednesday, April 1
Unfinished Stories (Ravayat haye na tamam), 7:30 pm
Directed by Pourya Azabayjani
In these intersecting stories, three women who have made life-altering decisions traverse Tehran alone in the middle of the night. The strangers they encounter are suspicious of them at first, but then bestow acts of kindness on the women that may help them escape their dire situations. This is Azabayjani’s debut feature. 2007, 35mm, in Farsi with English subtitles, 76 minutes.
Wednesday, April 8
Over There (Aan Ja), 7:30 pm
Directed by Abdolreza Kahani
Payman returns to Iran to renew his green card but his rapidly dissolving marriage to Leila has taken a harsh turn. She now demands her $85,000 marriage portion (a fee negotiated at the time of the wedding that can be claimed by a wife at any time during the union). With his wages and property garnished, he cannot return to work in the United States, and only a few days remain before his visa expires. The couple is forced to find a solution that will allow both to save face. Winner of the best feature film award at the 2008 Thessaloniki International Film Festival. 2008, 35mm, in Farsi and English with English subtitles, 75 minutes.