Bristol rally for People’s Assembly, Wed May 29th
(Source: Flickr / louisefeminista)
Bristol, late afternoon
Mohsen Makhmakbaaf’s Salaam Cinema (1995)
Tabriz and Kandovan, in spring 2008
Last night I made my first Ghormeh Sabzi which reminded me again that most Iranian food appears to have been invented in an era where all you did all day was cook. Controversially I used only two dried limes instead of the recommended five mainly because the traditional Iranian recipe is just too goddamn torsh (sour) for my non-Iranian guests. I also used twice the meat and substituted spring onions instead of chives on the recommendation of my mother and my sister who were phoned regularly throughout the process. But whilst the ghormeh sabzi was a success, I took my eye off the ball when it came to the polo (internationally recognised as the best form of rice) which came out slightly too dry. Luckily the tardiq was good. The experience did remind me of that famous Iranian saying: “don’t put all your shaam into vaan ghorme sabzi baasket”
Bread and Alley (1970)
Kiarostami’s first film is easily recognisable now as being very typical of his oeuvre: a child’s plight and inner sense of will against an immediate hostile environment for which the adult world has no answers. What is most enduring, however, is his use of a continually shifting point-of-view. This aspect has a strong resonance not only in his own work - in transnational endeveours like Tickets or Certified Copy for example - but has arguably been influential in Iranian cinema at large as films such as Mohsen Makhmalbaaf’s revered A Moment of Innocence (or if we go by the original Iranian title Naan va Goldoon, i.e. Bread and Flower pot) and the Oscar-winning A Separation by Asghar Farhadi testify.
A soghati (souvenir) from my visit to Iran in 2008. I can’t translate what someone has scribbled on the note because in Farsi I’m bisavaad (illiterate) but I remember it being something among the lines of marg bar Shah (Down with ths Shah). Must check.
Tabriz, my mother’s birthplace, 2008
Victims and victors, a review of Argo (2012)
When in June 2009, Barack Obama described the President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak as a ‘force for stability and good in the region’ he was echoing the description US President Jimmy Carter had reserved for the Shah of Iran in 1978. Mubarak, like his Iranian counterpart, a dictator, was similarly overthrown in a popular revolution not long after his American Presidential blessing. And revolutions are far from stable. Argo, a new film directed by Ben Affleck about a CIA-operation to rescue a group of US embassy hostages during the Iranian revolution of 1979, might be seen as a similarly unfortunate appropriation of the past.