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OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Gita Aslani Shahrestani and Ehsan Khoshbakht

Chess of the Wind + The Hills of Marlik

شطرنج باد Shatranje bad
Chess of the Wind
Mohammad Reza Aslani, Iran 1976, 93 min.
German premiere of the digital restoration

A mesmerising riff on House-of-Usher-like themes, Chess of the Wind delves into a maze of power games, corruption and decay unleashed in an old house. Mohammad Reza Aslani's debut feature foretells a revolution to come, and masterly paints a picture of the inner, hidden struggles of Iranian society. This recently rediscovered gem was deemed lost after its only screening at 1976 Tehran International Film Festival (where it was largely misunderstood), until in 2020 it was restored by the World Cinema Foundation, becoming one of the most widely acclaimed Iranian pre-revolutionary films.

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, in collaboration with Mohammad Reza Aslani.

تپه های مارلیک Tappe-haye Marlik
The Hills of Marlik
Ebrahim Golestan, Iran 1963, 15 min.
German premiere of the digital restoration

A 3,000-year-old site in the north of Iran is simultaneously excavated by archaeologists and fertilized by farmers. With its poetic and political approach to history, this Technicolor short is one of Iranian cinema's most precious documentaries. Drawing converging lines between human life, art, and death, the past touches the present, creating a clear continuity among the forms of life detected by the camera.

Restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Ecran Noir productions, in collaboration with Ebrahim Golestan and the National Film Archive of Iran. Additional support generously provided by Genoma Films and Mahrokh Eshaghian. Restoration work carried out at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in 2019.

Gita Aslani Shahrestani is a lecturer and researcher in film studies and specialist in Iranian cinema. She received her PhD from Paris-Nanterre University, focusing on Persian mystical ideas in Iranian cinema. She is an expert on the cinema of Mohammed Reza Aslani who is also her father.

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.