اون شب که بارون اومد Un shab ke barun umad
The Night It Rained or the Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy
Kamran Shirdel, Iran 1967, 35 min.
A newspaper story of a heroic village boy who prevented a train disaster spreads like wildfire. The incident, first reported and then challenged by local officials and journalists, is soon doubted and ultimately leads to confusion, with nobody knowing exactly who saved whom. Initially banned, this anti-authoritarian, Rashomonesque tale full of unreliable perspectives offers a crash course in 1960s Iran.
Amir Naderi, Iran 1980, 79 min.
Amir Naderi, known in the 70s for his gritty street films, was in New York when the revolution happened. But he made it back to Iran in time for his first feature documentary, searching for those missing after the Black Friday massacre of September 8, 1978. Influenced by Soviet cinema masters and Alain Resnais' Night and Fog (1955), the result, harrowing and urgent, was deemed too distressing to be shown and was shelved indefinitely, never to be screened in Iran until very recently.
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.