The Secret of the Treasure of the Jinn Valley | Chicago Reader

The Secret of the Treasure of the Jinn Valley

Having moved to London in 1967, the distinguished Iranian writer, translator, producer, and director Ebrahim Golestan returned to his homeland to make this unpleasant allegorical comedy (1972), his second and final feature to date. A bitter satire about the shah's corrupt regime, it centers on a poor peasant who plunges into a hidden cave, discovers a cache of valuable antiques, and becomes a grotesque nouveau riche tyrant. Golestan tackled a related theme in his exquisite 1965 short The Iranian Crown Jewels (see listing for “Documentaries by Ebrahim Golestan”), which was commissioned and then banned by the shah's cultural ministry, but that film attacked the very elitism that subsumes this one. The print being shown is badly faded, but the period ambience is still vivid. In Farsi with subtitles. 118 min.

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