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Iranian Film Festival 

Wednesday, Sep 23 2015
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As our nation's more reactionary elements once again beat the drums of war against Iran, it's important to remember that its citizens are people who are not responsible for their government's aggressive tendencies. Well, it's important for non-Iranians to remember; Iranians already know it, and it's good timing that the eighthannual Iranian Film Festival opens this weekend. Established to support Iranian film and culture of Bay Area and elsewhere, it's the only ethnic film festival that has to point out in their official description that it has "no affiliation to any political or religious organizations." Feature films this year include the U.S. premiere of Mohsen Makhmalbaf's The President, about a former executive (Misha Gomiashvili) on the run following a coup d'état, while a highlight among the shorts is Baran Mohamad Reihani's animated One of Thousands, about a young Kurdish carpet-weaver determined to follow her dreams. But the big ticket is Igal Hecht's documentary The Sheik. It follows wrestler Khosrow Vaziri's journey from Iranian soldier to flag-waving wrestler (and Hulk Hogan nemesis) the Iron Sheik to Vaziri's current status as a beloved Twitter figure and beyond. And, to the surprise of no one, the Iron Sheik has turned out to be a much better human being than the hyper-patriotic Hogan. Don't miss it, #JABRONI!

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Sherilyn Connelly

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