Blue Hour. Screening Program Part 1

Blue Hour, A Screening Program Curated by Tiffany Malakooti for Bidoun.

Three tacitly subversive documentary shorts each engage a key source of tension leading up to Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979; the privileging of foreign interests, popular religious inclinations, as well as abject poverty that has gone unaddressed are all dealt with in this series of rarely seen films.

Yek Atash (A Fire)
Ebrahim Golestan
1961, 24′
Blue Hour. Screening Program Part 1In the spring of 1958, in the region of Khuzestan — the heart of the Iranian oil industry — an oil well explodes during a routine drilling. In Yek Atash, Ebrahim Golestan documents the fire, the relentless efforts to put it out, and its violent effect on the local landscape. Edited by Golestan’s partner at the time, Forough Farrokhzad, the film reads like straight-forward reportage, yet as we watch firefighters move closer and closer to the fire, like moths drawn to an electric light, the film’s broader social implications become increasingly explicit.

Tehran Is the Capital of Iran
Kamran Shirdel
1966, 18′
Commissioned by The Organization of The Iranian Women [sic], Tehran is the Capital of Iran is a documentary about the South Tehran slum of Khazaneh. Shirdel presents images of unfathomable poverty and suffering and sets them against various official narratives drawn from the Shah’s “White Revolution” era. A representative of the organization pontificates as to the “duty of the individual” while illiterate mothers and children learn to read using texts describing minutia related to the monarchy. The result is a portrait of a government that seems painfully out of touch with its populace in the face of widespread destitution. Upon completion, the film was banned and production of a second commission, Qaleh, was ceased.

Ya Zamene Ahu (O Guardian of the Deer)
Parviz Kimiavi
1970, 20′
Ya Zamene Ahu is a quiet documentary about visitors to the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shiite Imam, in the city of Mashhad in the North East of Iran. Nicknamed the “Guardian of Deer,” it is said that Imam Reza once protected a deer as it was pursued by a hunter.

“There is the religious belief which leads the human beings to the shrine. All that I do is to show the space between the hands of the believers and the shrine. The symbolism in my film is rooted in reality. All the human beings and things in the film are real, nothing has been arranged.” — Parviz Kimiavi

This program is an extension of the BubuWeb project — a partnership between Bidoun and UbuWeb which aims to make available rare audio and visual materials from the region.


Entrance: 3 000 LL
Location : Beirut Art Center
Time : Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8h00 PM
Because of limited seating, it is advised to book in advance by calling us on 01 397 018.
Reserved seats will be held until 15 minutes before the event begins.


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