Documentaries by Ebrahim Golestan | Chicago Reader

Documentaries by Ebrahim Golestan

This remarkable program collects four pioneering shorts by Iranian writer and filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan, who began producing industrial films for the oil companies in the 50s and evolved into an ambitious and accomplished artist; in some ways his documentaries are comparable to the early work of Alain Resnais. The Wave, Coral and Rock (1961, 40 min.), the most conventional, chronicles the building of a jetty and the laying of pipelines, while A Fire (1961, 25 min.), edited by the great poet Forough Farrokhzad, chronicles a protracted oil fire. The Hills of Marlik (1963, 15 min.) beautifully and suggestively documents archaeological excavations, and The Iranian Crown Jewels (1965, 15 min.), commissioned and then banned by the shah's cultural ministry, is a formally dazzling and politically provocative brief on its subject. The first three are in English and subtitled Farsi; the last is unsubtitled, but copies of the English text will be provided.

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