(52 minutes) Iran/Iraq/USA
Director: Bahman Kiarostami
Producer: Bahman Kiarostami and Marjaneh Moghimi
Despite the threat of mines, assassination, and death by dehydration and starvation, determined Shiite Muslims - as many as 3,000 a day - have been pouring across the Iran-Iraq border since the fall of the Iraqi government. They risk their lives for only one reason: to visit the holy city of Karbala, fifty miles south of Baghdad. This city houses the magnificent shrine of seventh-century leader Imam Hussein, grandson of the prophet Muhamed. Hussein died in a battle in 681, a martyr to the Shiite faith. The intense devotion of these pilgrims to Imam Hussein and Karbala astounds outside observers at the same time that it puts the Iranian government in a major predicament. Torn between bureaucracy and allegiance to Islam, Tehran is continually revising its emigration policies, periodically opening and then closing its border. Meanwhile people are dying, and chaos reigns at crossing points.
Bahman Kiarostami was born in Tehran in 1978 and has worked with his father Abbas on several films, for instance as editor of Ten (2002). He started his work as an assistant director in 1996 and made his first film, Morteza Momayez: Father of Iranian Contemporary Graphic Design, in the same year. Shown at international film festivals in Iran and abroad, his subsequent films have focused primarily on art and music, often touching on religious themes as well.
Marjaneh Moghimi is the founder and director of Butimar Productions.
Prior to launching Butimar, she worked for seven years at the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). As an integral member of SFMOMA 's Development
Department, she was responsible for a range of activities, from raising
funds to support the museum 's exhibitions and operations to planning
educational events such as gallery tours, artist lectures, and seminars
on collecting art for Contemporary Extension, an auxiliary of the museum.
Ms. Moghimi holds a B.A. in international relations/political science
from the University of Southern California.
©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)