Iranian Film Festival 2006 in Boston

Sent by: Amil Imni

The Freer Gallery's tenth annual festival of Iranian films features five new films showcasing the best in contemporary Iranian filmmaking. This year's edition includes films by both new and established directors, along with special guests and an animated film for families. All films are in Farsi with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

Series is organized by Bo Smith of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the support of ILEX Foundation, Olga M. Davidson, and Niloofar Fotouhi.

All films are shown in the Meyer Auditorium.

The Unwanted Woman
Friday, January 6, 7 pm
Sunday, January 8, 2 pm
Tahmineh Milani's newest film takes a close look at desire and betrayal in Iranian society. When Sima sets out on a journey with her family to return a young widow to her birthplace, Sima suspects a bond forming between her husband and the woman. Meanwhile, the search for a man who murdered his wife in a town along the way makes Sima wonder how far her own desires could take her. Description adapted from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2004 / 104 min.

Iron Island
Friday, January 20, 7 pm
Sunday, January 22, 2 pm
Briskly paced and darkly comic, this film follows the adventures of a group of homeless people who inhabit a sinking oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. They manage their daily lives under the watchful eye of Captain Nemat, who rules the decaying ship with an iron fist. Only his assistant dares defy his authority, for the sake of his nameless beloved below decks. Director Mohammad Rasoulof's film is at once playful, ironic, and sophisticated. Description adapted from the Glasgow Film Theatre. 2005 / 90 min.
Special Family Event:

Babak and Friends?A First Norooz Sunday, January 29, 2 pm
Special Guests: Aly Jetha and Shabnam Rezeai, producers
This delightful animated film by Dustin Ellis features the voices of Shohrei Aghdashloo and Catherine Bell. Mischievous Babak has been raised outside Iran. When his friends celebrate Christmas and Easter, he feels like an outsider?until his cousins arrive from Iran to celebrate Norooz, the Persian New Year. This opens up a new world of games and a connection to his heritage. Join two of the film's producers for a look at the animation techniques as well as a sneak preview of Babak's next adventure. This event made possible by Evolving Perceptions. 2004 / 30 min. / video / English

Deserted Station
Friday, February 3, 7 pm
Sunday, February 5, 2 pm
Based on a story by Abbas Kiarostami, this film by Alireza Raisian follows a photographer and his wife, whose car breaks down near a remote village. Matters take an unexpected turn as he embarks on a futile quest to repair the engine while she is drafted as a replacement teacher to a class of precocious children. Funny, affectionate, and consistently surprising, this is Iranian cinema at its most eloquent and picturesque. Description adapted from the Edinburgh Festivals. 2002 / 88 min.

Wake Up Arezoo!

Friday, February 10, 7 pm
Sunday, February 12, 2 pm
A riveting yet respectful drama, Kianoush Ayari's newest film is a moving tribute to the heartache that followed an enormous earthquake in Bam in 2003. Moments after the quake, a young teacher in a village outside town scrambles from under the rubble, only to learn her colleagues have all died. She sets out for Bam for aid but discovers the main tragedy has occurred there. Description adapted from the Fajr International Film Festival. 2005 / 90 min.

Portrait of a Lady Far Away
Friday, February 24, 7 pm
Sunday, February 26, 2 pm
This intimate psychological debut from director Ali Mosaffa is reminiscent of the work of Andrei Tarkovsky for its mysterious, disturbing atmosphere. Aging architect Ahmad receives a phone message from an unknown woman saying she plans to commit suicide. When he arrives at her address, he instead meets the caller's girlfriend. As they search the city, this taciturn woman becomes a kind of guide, taking him surprisingly deep into his own past. Description adapted from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. 2005 / 98 min.
More film at the Freer

For Directions:
Metro accessible: Smithsonian Stop