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Director Ebrahim Golestan Iran 1963-64

130 min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Ehsan Khoshbakht and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Brick and Mirror

German premiere of the digital restoration.

When a passenger abandons a baby in a Tehran cab, the cabbie’s search for the mother becomes an existential quest. Iranian cinema’s first true modern masterpiece explores fear and responsibility in the aftermath of the 1953 coup. With its title alluding to a poem by Attar, Golestan's first feature mixes dream and reality, responding to the changing climate of Iranian society, the failure of intellectuals, and corruption in all walks of life. Golestan, a giant of Persian modern literature and a translator of works by Lenin, Dostoevsky and Faulkner produced this widescreen film in his own newly built studio.

The restoration has been promoted by Ecran Noir Productions and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna under the supervision of Ebrahim Golestan. Restoration works were carried out at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in Bologna, with funding provided by Fereydoun Firouz/Ecran Noir productions and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.

Ehsan Khoshbakht is a film curator, writer and filmmaker. He co-directs Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival of classics and film restoration in Bologna. An architect by training, he has written extensively on film, architecture, and jazz, as well as on American and Iranian cinemas.

Jonathan Rosenbaum was a film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. His most recent books are Cinematic Encouters 2: Portraits and Polemics (2019), Cinematic Encouters: Interviews and Dialogues (2018), Abbas Kiarostami (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, expanded 2nd edition), and Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia (2010). He maintains a web site archiving most of his writing at jonathanrosenbaum.net.