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Calendar, Night&Day Dreams and Realities

Dreams and Realities

A young woman dressed in a wedding gown flies through the air, her eyes closed. In one hand she grasps a portrait of the back of a man's head (her groom?), and the same rope that binds her wrist and…
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News, The Snitch Iranian Cat Finds Better Life in San Francisco

Iranian Cat Finds Better Life in San Francisco

If anything is going to help thaw the icy relations between the U.S. and Iran, it's going to be a damn cute cat.Both the people of America (specifically San Francisco) and Iran have set aside politics to help save this…
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Calendar, Night&Day Internal Rage

Internal Rage

Filmed during the months leading up to the 2009 presidential election in Iran, The Hunter still seethes with fury — and anticipates the blood that would spill after the vote. Rafi Pitts's oblique fourth feature opens with a clang of…
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Calendar, Night&Day A Director Offside

A Director Offside

Six years in prison, and 20 years before he can film or even write again. That’s the sentence meted out earlier this year to Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. A weeklong festival, Iran Beyond Censorship, honors his work and that of…
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Music, Iran's Hypernova braves cultural repression to rock out

Iran's Hypernova braves cultural repression to rock out

Indie rock has become so washed out in recent years that it's a challenge just to stay awake through many songs, never mind whole albums. Through the Chaos, the full-length debut by Hypernova, is a thrilling exception. Frontman Raam cuts…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>No One Knows About Persian Cats</i>

No One Knows About Persian Cats

The great boundary-crosser of Iranian cinema, Bahman Ghobadi purposefully steps over the line with No One Knows About Persian Cats—a quasi-documentary, highly unofficial panorama of Teheran's tenacious underground music scene and a movie which has accrued additional urgency since its…
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Calendar, Night&Day "One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran"

"One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran"

For a moment last June, America's fascination with Iran shifted from nuclear to Twitter. The San Francisco–based microblogging company's role in Tehran's post-election protests fired up the media's imagination and bridged the static-filled political divide. More than anything, the Twitter…
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Culture, Art <i>One Day</i> reveals Iran's gridlock and anxiety

One Day reveals Iran's gridlock and anxiety

For a moment last June, America's fascination with Iran shifted from nuclear to Twitter. The San Francisco–based microblogging company's role in Tehran's post-election protests fired up the media's imagination and bridged the static-filled political divide. More than anything, the Twitter…
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Calendar, Night&Day A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

Taraneh Hemami of San Francisco and Ghazaleh Hedayat of Tehran teamed up to curate “One Day: A Collective Narrative of Tehran,” describing life in the city through the eyes of its artists. The show acknowledges the ephemeral quality of a…
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Film, This Girl's Life

This Girl's Life

Persepolis is a small landmark in feature animation. Not because of technical innovation — though it moves fluidly enough, and its drawings have a handcrafted charm forgotten in the era of the cross-promoted-to-saturation CGI-'toon juggernauts — but because it translates…
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Film, Grand Design

Grand Design

The story of how The Kite Runner's Homayoun Ershadi got into movies is a bit like those fanciful tales of stars and starlets discovered by casting agents while sitting at the soda counter in Schwab's Pharmacy. In Ershadi's case, he…
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Culture, Stagecap

The Breeze at Dawn

The story of two Iranian women trying to create fulfilling lives fails to achieve its full potential in this inaugural show from Featherlead Productions. Playwright Lalé Shafaghi has a lovely way with words, using deceptively simple language to sketch the…
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Film, Dough Boy's Malaise

Dough Boy's Malaise

Perhaps you've heard of Taxi Driver. Well, meet Scooter Dude. In Crimson Gold (Talaye sorkh), an Iranian portrait of urban ennui, detachment, and (briefly) explosive violence, the anti-hero rides on two wheels -- delivering pizzas, to be precise. The streets…
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Calendar, Urban Experience War Is Hell

War Is Hell

TUES 2/17 One of the reasons 9/11 so stupefied our country is that we're not used to seeing war on our own soil. We're also unused to seeing war's blood, carnage, and dehumanization, because media outlets choose what to show…
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Film, Road Worriers

Road Worriers

Call it Dashboard Confessions. The latest film from celebrated Iranian writer/director Abbas Kiarostami (The Wind Will Carry Us, A Taste of Cherry) takes place almost entirely in the front seat of an automobile that is wending its way through the…
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Film, Beyond the Burka

Beyond the Burka

The view of life in the Middle East that the SFIFF provides year after year is disproportionately feminist and consistently surprising. What shines through these remarkably understated films is not only the manifest fact that women will benefit the most…
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