Nedamatgah (Women’s Prison) (1965)
Tehran Is the Capital of Iran (1966)
Qaleh (The Women’s Quarter) (1966)
The Night It Rained or The Epic of Gorgan Village Boy (1967)
Bidoun and UbuWeb are pleased to present four of Shirdel’s most renowned socio-political documentaries, films that courageously and frankly revealed the darker side of Iran’s economic boom, analyzing the effects of a society flush with oil money. These films were steeped in a deep social consciousness reminiscent of the best of the Italian Neo-realist tradition, the cinema that had influenced him deeply during his studies in Italy. Shirdel’s furious documentaries and cinematic language were a bone of contention both under the Shah and following his exile, because they spoke up for the underprivileged and, in doing so, exposed and criticized the corruption of the mechanism of power. Because of the severe censorship, nearly all his films were banned and confiscated, and in the end he was expelled from The Ministry and put on the blacklist. Seven years after it was made (and censored), his The Epic of the Gorgani Village Boy (The Night It Rained!), after receiving the GRAN PRIX at The Third Tehran International Film Festival (1974), was immediately banned again and remained so (like his Nedamatgah (Women’s Prison, 1965), Qaleh (Women’s Quarter, 1966), Tehran Is the Capital of Iran (1966), and others) until after the revolution.
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