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 intelligently juxtaposes old documentary footage (and extremely beautiful pictures of bearded men) with footage he has shot in Tehran over the last 5 years or so (including lots of time lapse shots of crazy traffic). The film starts off with the observation by someone called Asar-o-blad (no idea who that is since google returns exactly 0 results) who in 1241 remarked that:
Tehran is a village near the city of Ray. It’s inhabitants live in anthill like underground holes. Tehranis’ main occupation is theft and crime. They fight each other and can’t obey any king. They grow excellent pomegranates which are found only in Tehran.
The film then goes on to portray various stupid rulers, collective opium addiction, visits by Stalin, Churchill (‘You really have big oil wells’) and Roosevelt, the fall of the Shah and the explosive growth of the metropolis with all of its magnificent transportation problems. Well worth watching (apparently there will be a DVD release by the Jan Vrijman Fund later this year or early next year)