Tehran Calling


Iranian filmmakers need to be adept at metaphor. But even that is no guarantee of career longevity, or freedom, as evidenced by the recent prison terms of internationally celebrated directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. The fourth annual Iranian Film Festival presents a kind of profile in courage, therefore, with today’s Flamingo No. 13 (5:45 p.m.), the debut feature by Hamid Reza Aligholian. An enigmatic tale of an obsessed flamingo-hunter and the woman he covets, its socio-political commentary is camouflaged by a gorgeous, remote mountain landscape. Silence gives way to music, rhythm, and the bustle of life in Italian director Federico Spinetti’s Zurkhaneh— The House of Strength (6:45 p.m.), a documentary set in gyms for practicers of a martial art that encompasses all the contradictions and passions of contemporary Iran. Veteran theater actor Ardavan Mofid follows with a storytelling performance, while directors Spinetti and Aligholian answer questions.
Sept. 10-11, 2011

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