Visits from two renowned filmmakers, Iranian American Shirin Neshat and Iranian Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, highlight the second edition of Views from Iran, presented by the Walker Art Center from April 9–30 at 1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.The series includes themes of challenging conventions and saving face (About Elly); fighting patriarchy (Women Without Men and We Are Half of Iran’s Population); struggling with drug addiction (Mainline and Tehroun) and illegal immigration (Heiran); and negotiating a vibrant underground music scene (No One Knows About Persian Cats). Together the films reveal seldom-seen aspects of a country that captures headlines daily.
Visiting artists in the series include New York-based Neshat, whose work was first exhibited at the Walker in 1998, introducing with collaborator Shoja Azari the premiere of her film Women without Men (April 16 and 17, 7:30 p.m.), winner of the 2009 Venice Film Festival Silver Lion for Best Director; and Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, one of the most prominent women directors working in Iran today.
Bani-Etemad will introduce screenings of Mainline (Khoon bazi), her film co-directed with Mohsen Abdolvahab (April 23, 7:30 p.m.), and the premiere of her latest work, We Are Half of Iran’s Population (April 24, 7:30 p.m.), a documentary about women’s hopes and demands for the 2009 presidential election. The director will also lead a master class on capturing authenticity in film (April 23, 2 p.m.).
Views from Iran features premieres of Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly (Darbareye Elly), Iran’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Academy Awards (April 9, 7:30 p.m.); Shalizeh Arefpour’s Heiran (Heiraan), about the challenging relationship between an Irani and an illegal Afghani immigrant (April 25, 2 p.m.); and Bahman Ghobadi’s No One Knows About Persian Cats (Kasi az gorbehayeh irani khabar nadareh), a drama spun from Tehran’s underground rock music scene (April 30, 7:30 p.m.).
Other programs include Nader T. Homayoun’s Tehroun (April 28, 7:30 p.m.), which won the 2009 Venice Festival’s audience award; and the Mack Lecture Views from Iran with Laura Secor (April 13, 7 p.m.), featuring a discussion with the freelance journalist who has covered Iranian culture and politics for the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among other media outlets.
All events are in the Cinema. All films are in Farsi with English subtitles and are $8 each or the cinephile’s special for all 5 films for $24. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Walker box office at 612-375-7600 or online at walkerart.org/tickets.