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Iranian films in Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley
Pacific Film Archive
New PFA Theater:
2575 Bancroft Way at Bowditch Street
Berkeley, California
Tel: 510.642.1412

Iranian Cinema: December 3, 9, 10, and 15 through 19 at the New PFA Theater.

Pacific Film Archive presents new features and documentaries-as well as influential 1970s films-selected in Teheran by Alissa Simon of the Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago, an institution that has presented 10 annual Iranian Film Festivals.

"Iranian Cinema" at PFA will be shown from Friday, December 3 through Sunday, December 19 at the New PFA Theater, located on the southern edge of the U C Berkeley campus, at 2575 Bancroft near Bowditch Street. General admission to these screenings is $6 for one film and $7.50 for double bills. For additional ticket or program information, please phone (510) 642-1412.

In recent years, films from Iran have steadily gained critical acclaim and appreciative audiences at film festivals around the world. Topics such as censorship, the role of women, the recent history of Iranian cinema, and its current international successes are treated in the 1999 documentary FRIENDLY PERSUASION by Jamsheed Akrami, which features film clips and discussions with many of Iran's leading filmmakers.

PFA's Iranian Cinema series will present a long-banned film by internationally acclaimed director Dariush Mehrjui. THE LADY (1992) reenvisions Luis Buñuel's Viridiana (about a charitable wife who welcomes an unruly band of unfortunates into her home) in an Iranian context.

Also in the series are two films by feminist director Tahmineh Milani. Her newest film TWO WOMEN is a moving drama about college friends whose studies were interrupted when all Iran's universities were closed in 1982; they compare their situations when they meet at a reunion some 15 years later. THE LEGEND OF A SIGH, directed by Milani in 1991, depicts the experiences of four women from very different social strata, within the framework of a legend about a handsome man who helps those he hears sincerely sighing.

SWEET AGONY is an enjoyable spoof of investigative documentaries, comically presenting the travails of young love and two families that impede it; members of director Ali Reza Davudnezhad's family enact the key roles.

THE RED RIBBON, an allegorical representation of the continuing sorrows caused by the Iran-Iraq war, was directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia. SON OF MARY, presented by PFA in family matinee screenings, celebrates diversity in the tale of a young Muslim boy's friendship with an Armenian priest.

The series also includes programs of recent and pre-Revolution documentaries, and a salute to the late director Sohrab Shahid Saless that presents his touching and elegantly envisioned films STILL LIFE (1974), about an elderly couple, and A SIMPLE EVENT (1973), the story of a lonely boy whose mother is ill.

A schedule of screenings dates and times follows.

Pacific Film Archive

New PFA Theater:
2575 Bancroft Way @ Bowditch
Berkeley, California
Telephone: (510) 642-1412
General admission: $6 for one film, $7.50 for double bills

Iranian Cinema

Screening schedule: Date, time, title, director (alternative title, year of release). Films are produced in Iran except as indicated:

Friday, December 3 - A Tribute to Sohrab Shahid-Saless

7:30 pm: STILL LIFE Sohrab Shahid-Saless (Tabiat e Bijan, 1974)

9:25 pm: A SIMPLE EVENT Sohrab Shahid-Saless (Yek Ettefaq-e Sadeh, 1973)

Thursday, December 9

7:00 pm: A SIMPLE EVENT Sohrab Shahid-Saless (Yek Ettefaq-e Sadeh, 1973)

8:50 pm: FRIENDLY PERSUATION Jamsheed Akrami (U.S., 1999)

Friday, December 10

7:30 pm: THE LEGEND OF A SIGH Tahmineh Milani (Afsane-Ye-Ah, 1991)

9:30 pm: TWO WOMEN Tahmineh Milani (Do Zan, 1999)

Wednesday, December 15

7:00 pm: "New Iranian Documentaries." DEADTIME Saeed Tarazi (Zaman-E Mordeh, 1999); TEHRAN, THE 25th HOUR Seifollah Samadian (Tehran, Saat-E 25, 1999); A PLACE CALLED HOME Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri (1998); SILK Mahvash Sheykh-Al-Elsami (Youfek, 1999).

9:00 pm: THE NIGHT IT RAINED Kamran Shirdel (An Shab Ke Baran Amad, 1967). Plus, also by Shirdel: THE RED DISTICT (a.k.a. The Fortress / Qaleh, 1966) and WOMEN'S PRISON (1965).

Thursday, December 16

7:00 pm: SWEET AGONY Ali-Reza Davudnezhad (Masaeb-e Shirin,1999)

8:50 pm: THE LADY Dariush Mehrjui (Banoo, 1992/1998)

Friday, December 17

7:30 pm: TWO WOMEN Tahmineh Milani (Do Zan, 1999)

9:30 pm: THE LEGEND OF A SIGH Tahmineh Milani (Afsane-Ye-Ah, 1991)

Saturday, December 18

7:00 pm: THE LADY Dariush Mehrjui (Banoo, 1992/1998)

9:10 pm: SWEET AGONY Ali-Reza Davudnezhad (Masaeb-e Shirin,1999)

Sunday, December 19

1:45 pm & 3:30 pm: Family Matinees: SON OF MARY Hamid Jebeli (1999). Recommended for viewers age 9 and older.

5:30 pm & 7:40 pm: THE RED RIBBON Ebrahim Hatamikia (Rubani germes, 1999)


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