Tag Archives: Tehran

Offside

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Panahi winning the Berlin Silver Bear in 2006 ...

Panahi winning the Berlin Silver Bear in 2006 for his Offside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Offside (Persian: آفساید ‎) is a 2006 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, about girls who try to watch a World Cup qualifying match but are forbidden by law because of their sex. Female fans are not allowed to enter football stadiums in Iran on the grounds that there will be a high risk of violence or verbal abuse against them. The film was inspired by the director’s daughter, who decided to attend a game anyway. The film was shot in Iranbut its screening was banned there.

Most of the characters in the film are not named.

A girl disguises herself as a boy to go attend the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain. She travels by bus with a group of male fans, some of whom notice her gender, but do not tell anyone. At the stadium, she persuades a reluctant ticket tout to sell her a ticket; he only agrees to do so at an inflated price. The girl tries to slip through security, but she is spotted and arrested. She is put in a holding pen on the stadium roof with several other women who have also been caught; the pen is frustratingly close to a window onto the match, but the women are at the wrong angle to see it.

The women are guarded by several soldiers, all of whom are just doing their national service; one in particular is a country boy from Tabriz who just wants to return to his farm. The soldiers are bored and do not particularly care whether women should be allowed to attend football matches; however, they guard the women carefully for fear of their “chief”, who could come by at any moment. They occasionally give commentary on the match to the women.

One of the younger girls needs to go to the toilet, but of course there is no women’s toilet in the stadium. A soldier is deputed to escort her to the men’s toilet, which he does by an increasingly farcical process: first disguising her face with a poster of a football star, then throwing a number of angry men out of the toilet and blockading any more from entering. During the chaos, the girl escapes into the stadium, although she returns to the holding pen shortly after as she is worried about the soldier from Tabriz getting into trouble.

Part of the way through the second half of the game, the women are bundled into a bus, along with a boy arrested for carrying fireworks, and the soldiers ordered to drive them to the Vice Squad headquarters. As the bus travels through Tehran, the soldier from Tabriz plays the radio commentary on the match as it concludes. Iran defeats Bahrain 1-0 with a goal from Nosrati just after half time and wild celebrations erupt within the bus as the women and the soldiers cheer and sing with joy. The girl whose story began the film is the only one not happy. When asked why, she explains that she is not really interested in football; she wanted to attend the match because a friend of hers was one of seven people killed in a scuffle during the recent Iran-Japan match, and she wanted to see the match in his memory.

The city of Tehran explodes with festivity, and the bus becomes caught in a traffic jam as a spontaneous street party begins. Borrowing seven sparklers from the boy with the fireworks, the women and the soldiers leave the bus and join the party, holding the sparklers above them.

The film was filmed at an actual stadium, at a real life qualifying match for the Iranian National team. And Panahi had two separate outcomes to the film depending on the turnout of the match.

  • Sima Mobarak-Shahi as First girl
  • Shayesteh Irani as Smoking girl
  • Ayda Sadeqi as Soccer girl
  • Golnaz Farmani as Girl with tchador
  • Mahnaz Zabihi as Female soldier
  • Nazanin Sediq-zadeh as Young girl

The film appeared on several critics’ top ten lists of the best films of 2007.

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The Willow Tree

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Cover of "The Willow Tree"

Cover of The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree (Persian: بید مجنون ‎, translit. Bid-e Majnoon) is a 2005 Iranian film directed by Majid Majidi. It tells the story of Youssef, a man blinded in a fireworks accident, when eight years old. After an operation he regains his vision, changing his life in unexpected ways. It was filmed from 10 February 2004 – 10 August 2004 in both Tehran and Paris.

The Willow Tree

About Elly

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Deutsch: Asghar Farhadi präsentiert als Gast d...

Deutsch: Asghar Farhadi präsentiert als Gast der Viennale 2009 im Stadtkino seinen Film Alles über Elly. English: Asghar Farhadi at the screening of his movie About Elly during the Vienna International Film Festival 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About Elly (Persian: درباره الی‎, translit. Darbareye Elly) is a 2009 Iranian film directed by Asghar Farhadi. It is the fourth film by Farhadi. The film is about the relationship among some middle class families in Iran.

Farhadi won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 59th Berlin Film Festival for the film. The film was also nominated for 10 awards at the 27th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran where Farhadi won the Crystal Symorgh for best directing. About Elly was Iran’s official submission for the competition in Foreign Film section at the 82nd Academy Awards. It competed against films such as Bist, Tardid, Bipooli for Iran’s submission in the Academy Awards.

A group of middle-class Iranian friends travel to the shores of the Caspian Sea on a three-day vacation. They are former classmates at the Law faculty in the university. Three couples include Sepideh and her husband Amir who have a little daughter. Shohreh and her husband Peiman who have two children including their little son Arash. Nazi and her husband Manoochehr are the third family. The trip is planned by Sepideh, who brought along her daughter’s kindergarten teacher Elly in order to introduce her to Ahmad, a friend who has come back from Germany for marriage.

They all go to the villa that Sepideh has booked from Tehran, but the rural woman in charge tells them that the owners of the place are coming back tomorrow, so they can’t stay there. The old woman suggests that they stay in a deserted villa that needs a lot of repairs. There is no cellphone reception there and they have to go to the old woman’s house in order to make calls. Sepideh lies to the old woman about the relationship between Elly and Ahmad: she says they’re married and are there for their honey moon.

Elly is a little shy, but she begins to feel attracted to Ahmad, who seems to feel the same way. She calls her mother and lies to her saying that she’s with her co-workers at the sea-side. She wishes to go back to Tehran the following day, as planned. Sepideh does not want her to leave and hides her luggage. In a twist of events, Elly goes missing after one of the mothers asks her to watch the children playing in the water. The group does not know whether Elly drowned or left for Tehran on her own.

Crew

The White Meadows

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Panahi winning the Berlin Silver Bear in 2006 ...

Panahi winning the Berlin Silver Bear in 2006 for his Offside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The White Meadows (Persian: Keshtzarhaye sepid‎) is a 2009 Iranian film written, directed and produced by Mohammad Rasoulof. The film was edited by leading Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi and stars Hassan Pourshirazi as Rahmat.

Mohammad Rasoulof was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1972. He received a degree in Sociology from Shiraz University and studied film editing at the Sooreh University in Tehran. His first feature film is the docudrama The Twilight, and his second feature, Iron Island, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. He also directed Head Wind, a documentary about the restrictions currently imposed in Iran on using satellites and the Internet. The White Meadows is his third feature film.

In a dreamlike yet earthbound film, Rahmat the boatman navigates the increasingly brackish waters of Lake Urmia, collecting the heartaches and tears of its’ inhabitants. But he remains powerless against their misguided attempts to appease the gods and make the land green again, whether by offering a bride to the sea or forcibly ‘treating’ the eyes of a painter who sees in different colors. Drawing firsthand on the challenges faced by Iranian artists of today, writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof’s deeply atmospheric and poetical film is a gorgeous allegory of intolerance, brutality and mystified routine that resonates far beyond any one state’s borders.

Hichkas

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Soroush Lashkari (Persian: سروش لشکری‎; born May 10, 1985) better known by his stage name Hichkas (Persian: هیچکس‎; meaning “Nobody”)is an Iranian rapper based in Tehran.  Hichkas is considered[by whom?] as one of pioneers of “Persian Rap” and “Persian Urban music“.  He has never received official permission to release his music legally in Iran since most western-style music is banned in the country.

Hichkas is one of the first Iranian Rappers that his works has made success.In about 2003, he started his works in Vanak with covering some English Language songs.Hichkas gained attention when he began rapping in Persian about social problems and young generation in Iran.Releasing his first album, made his name much reputable in Iranian community.  Hichkas has a unique theistic and nationalisitic lyrics style, avoiding vulgar words, referring to social issues. 

Reveal and Hichkas Tehran/Iran

Reveal and Hichkas Tehran/Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He uses Persian traditional music elements combined with western music.

Dariush Eghbali

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Dariush Malaysia 2009

Dariush Malaysia 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dariush Eghbali (Persian: داریوش اقبالی ‎, Dāryūš Eqbālī) better known by his stage name Dariush is a famous Iranian pop singer best known for his warm and plaintive bass voice heard in both ballads and political songs.[1] He is also a social activist who directs a recovery center.

Dariush was born in Tehran , on February 4, 1951 and spent his early years in Karaj. His talent was first recognized at an early age of nine, when he appeared on stage at his school. Hassan Khayatbashi introduced him to the public at the age of twenty through Iranian television. He immediately became popular with his legendary song “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”.[3] His contemporary and unique style opened up a new era in Iranian music. His past drug use has been publicized heavily. He has since quit.

His body of work consists of over 208 songs in 27 albums. He has also performed many Iranian films.

Dariush has released album called Donyaye In Roozaye Man which has been released on June 1, 2010 and recently the new song ‘Divar’ on August 9, 2011.

Dariush is a member of Amnesty International. Having had the experience of drug abuse himself in the past,[4] he is heavily involved in bringing awareness and support to the world of addiction.[4] Through the establishment of the Iran Recovery Center and Ayeneh Foundation, as well as through websites, educational seminars and conferences around the world, he has used his celebrity status to promote a drug free lifestyle.

His contributions have been recognized by the Self-Help And Recovery Exchange, which selected him to receive the Ron Simmons & Rev, Ronald L. Wright Award, for his outstanding contribution to support group participation by minority communities.

Maryam Akhondy

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Woman playing the santur in a painting from th...

Woman playing the santur in a painting from the Hasht-Behesht Palace in Isfahan Iran, 1669 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maryam Akhondy (born 1957) is a classical trained singer from Tehran, Iran. She was student of Ostad Esmail Mehrtasch and Ostad Nassrollah Nassehpour, two masters of classical Iranian music. Because of the difficult situation for artists, especially female artists, in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she moved to Europe and, since 1986, has lives in Cologne, Germany.

After 1986, Maryam Akhondy started working with other Iranian musicians in exile. With Nawa and Tschakawak, two groups of traditional Iranian musicians, she performed in Germany and Scandinavia.

At the same time she founded Ensemble Barbad, a group with three to five musicians, all classical trained artists. Barbad has been touring all over Europe for the past years. Maryam Akhondy and Ensemble Barbad’s newest project is called Sarmast, which means intoxicated, in this case intoxicated by the lyrics of the great Iranian poets, such as Hafez and others. Sarmast is Akhondy’s own compositions in the style of classical Persian art and music. The CD Sarmast – Iranian art music for texts of Persian poets was published in 2006.

Between 1999 and 2000, Maryam Akhondy created an all-female acapella group, Banu, because in Iran, it is difficult for female singers to appear publicly. Only for religious rituals, called Tazieh, are they allowed to make music. Furthermore, for men it is forbidden to listen to the singing of women. Therefore, for Iranian women, singing is possible only in private sphere, where women are alone or among themselves: at the cradle, doing housework, working in the fields, and women’s celebrations. Maryam Akhondy made it her business to bring traditional women’s songs back to life again. Over years she has been collecting songs and published them in 2004 on her album Banu – Songs of Persian Women.

Banu, named after the Persian word for noble lady or distinguished lady, is a kind of musical expedition to the different regions and cultures of Iran. It gives an informative view of the singing culture and self-confidence of the Persian women. Most of these songs are full of life and energy, accompanied by various percussion instruments. This is quite unusual for Iranian music which is often more serene and melancholic. But these old folk songs are funny, ironic and give a view of the Iranian woman when she is in private. The women of Banu have been touring in Europe, Turkey and Tunisia until recently.

They have also done non-Iranian collaborations with the Schäl Sick Brass Band of Cologne between 1994 and 1999, with Mike Herting during the Ruhrtriennale in 2008, and with Bobby McFerrin in 2009.