Rocket Woman

Do you remember where you were four years ago today? Anousheh Ansari was blogging from the International Space Station. The Iranian-born businesswoman, who emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager, studied electronics and computer engineering and went on to make a fortune in telecommunications. She was also the first woman to pay the $20 million tab for the ultimate scenic tour. Swiss director Christian Frei’s Space Tourists, screening today (4:55 p.m.) in the Iranian Film Festival, delivers an awe-inspiring look at Ansari’s training, preparation, and mission. The festival then salutes another female icon, actress Fakhri Khorvash, with a rare screening of the politically sensitive 1974 historical drama Prince Ehtejab (7:10 p.m.). Essentially unknown in this country but a beloved figure at home, Khorvash has been a key presence in Iranian cinema and theater for more than half a century. She is trekking all the way to San Francisco for this tribute, mercurial government officials permitting. Four years from now, you just might recall where you were.
Sept. 18-19, 2010

 
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