The modern day history of Iran as told through its films, presented with the pertinent commentary of the young Iranian director, Nader T. Homayoun, who learnedly intertwines of interviews with directors, influential film personalities and excerpts from films made before, during and after the revolution.
Documentarian Nader Takmil Homayoun delivers a plenary eulogy to Persian cinema – its fullest to date – with Iran: Une Révolution cinématographique. Over the course of 98 minutes, Homayoun follows the evolution and shifting stylistic currents of Iranian film over the course of 70+ years, as those changes parallel the country’s mercurial political history. The picture thus features a dazzling array of clips from Iranian documentaries and feature films, intercut with interview footage that offers insights from the country’s most esteemed directors and film historians, including Fereydoun Goleh, Bahman Ghobadi, Amir Naderi and Dariush Mehrjuï. Homayoun begins in 1933, with the country’s first sound film, the mischievous and ironic parable Haji Agha, the Cinema Actor. He then moves forward in time, through the prevalence of escapism, the rise of social realism, the 1970s Iranian New Wave and a more recent poetic approach to cinema, typified by Saless’s A Simple Event. Homayoun also reveals the political prescience of specific titles, such as Journey of the Stone, which predicted the 1979 Iranian revolution, and he sheds light on the irony that the government’s somewhat tyrannical laws forbidding the importation of American cinema had a positive side effect: they forced Iran to develop an entire culture of indigenous filmmaking.