Deja vu

We saw ‘Quartet: A Journey to North‘ by Amir Reza Koohestani & Mahin Sadri at the Bellevue Theatre tonight. Quartet tells the story of two murders in contemporary Iran through the intertwined narratives of the two killers and two witnesses. Definitely reminded me (both in terms of stage setup and narrative) of the works by Rabih Mroué. Also one of the video stills looked almost exactly as this pictures i took in Abyaneh last fall: Looks peacefull but while we were enjoying the play a newborn…

Islam @ the movies

So the big non-news of last week has been the release of the long anticipated ‘anti-islam’ movie ‘fitna‘ by the dutch clown/politican Geert Wilders. not only was he too stupid to release the movie via bittorrent (which would have scaled with demand much better & allowed for better quality) he also actually confirmed what i had always assumed, namely that he is too stupid to make a proper film: ‘fitna’ is not much more than an amateurish powerpoint show that shows that wilders has absolutely…

Tehran has no more pomegranates!

Watched a screening of ‘Tehran has no more pomegranates!‘ by Massoud Bakhshi this afternoon, which turned out to be a beautiful film that manages to pay homage to the incredibly strange and complex reality of the city of Tehran. While Tehran is one of the least likely city to fall in love with it had a certain strange attraction to me. tehran has no more pomegranates! manages to somehow capture this attraction and to turn it into an extremely entertaining complex portrait of the city. Bakhshi in…

Defiance chocolate bars

While traveling through Iran there are very little signs of the looming crisis over Iran’s alleged nuclear arms programme. There are a couple of down-with-the-U.S.A murals and posters here and there (but i believe they have been all over the place since 1978) and there is a fairly large number of anti-aircraft guns and rockets sticking out of the desert around the nuclear facility at Natanz. More interesting however is the fact that on a beautiful autumn day there are lots of Iranian families pi…

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk > Grand Ayatollah Sayid Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini

At least when one is to believe the flight schedules of Turkish airlines and Iran Air. Since november 2007 both airlines have a daily service connecting Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport with the new Imam Khomeini International Airport just south of Tehran (actually it is quite a bit south of the city but very close to the shrine of the the late Grand Ayatollah). Is it just me or isn’t it at least a tiny little bit ironic that there are direct flight’s between two airports that are named…

Tehran traffic ...

… so i am back from Iran after having spend the last two days in Tehran. it is pretty much difficult to make sense of Teheran in 4 days, which is probably due to the sheer size of the place. there are about 14 million people living in the metropolitan area of Tehran and one would guess that at most 5 of them are working as city planners. On the other hand every second inhabitant has at least one car (either a pre-historic Paykan or a grey Peugeot 206) which, during rush hour, is too much for the…

Emancipation gone wrong

After being in Iran for a week one of the biggest dissapointments so far (right after the food, which is the most unimaginative i have come across so far) is the fact that they seem to have banned ghalyun smoking in most places outside of Teheran. If you belive the daily star (which of course would be a foolish thing to do) this is part of the ‘toughest moral crackdown in years’ which is otherwise fairly invisible (at least to my eyes). When we were looking for a tea house to have a smoke in Isf…