Being Persian (Documentary Session)

Being Persian Session

This extended retrospective session of three documentaries about Persian identity is a festival highlight.

It will be followed by a moderated discussion.

Brisbane and Adelaide moderator:

Dr Mammad Aidani, Research Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies University of Melbourne

Melbourne moderator:

Amin Saikal AM,Professor of Political Science and Director,Centre for Arab and Islamic StudiesAustralian National University

Plastic Flowers Never Die (2008) Roxanne Varzi, 34:00 min

Anthropologist, writer and filmmaker Roxanne Varzi spoke to mural painters, museum curators, war vets and other cultural producers to create this elegiac experimental documentary about the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war from the Iranian perspective.

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 Utopia in the Making / L’Utopie en Marche (1980) Jocelynne Saab, 52:00 min

Lebanese born veteran filmmaker Jocelynne Saab, whose work often focuses on women, has made social issues documentaries and feature films from Lebanon to Vietnam. In 1980, during the Islamic Revolution, she went to Iran, commissioned by NHK, where she interviewed many public figures and private individuals. This insightful and rare, newly restored documentary will screen for the first time in English.

Maybe the graceful look I carry from the east, beyond the veil of clichés that usually stigmatizes the occidental point-of-view, will allow the orient to be restored in its just and rightful place and value. Jocelyne Saab

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 Faces (2007) Shahin Parhami, 100:00 min

This multi-layered, poetic documentary from diasporic filmmaker, Shahin Parhami, is a tour de force. The Montreal based filmmaker reflects on Iranian art, culture, the politics of representation, and the history and the power of popular media. He makes extensive use of clips of pre- and post-Revolutionary Iranian cinema and American films, as well as original interviews with Iranian artists and poets, mostly in diaspora. The film, years in the making, has been superbly edited into a complex and cohesive essay film on Orientalism.

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