Pearls on the Ocean Floor – Screening and Panel 4/26/11

We are in the middle of the Arab Spring and we’ve already seen Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries erupt with massive protests calling for freedom and democracy yet the country that started it all in 1979–Iran–remains under the thumb of a repressive authoritarian theocracy. Robert Adanto’s timely documentary Pearls on the Ocean Floor captures sixteen Iranian female artists making sense of their world post-Revolution. The film is screening Tuesday, April 26th at 7:30pm at the Pacific Design Center and will feature a post-screening discussion with world renowned Iranian composer-vocalist Sussan Deyhim, Vassar sociologist Farzin Vahdat, the author of God and Juggernaut: Iran’s Intellectual Encounter with Modernity (Syracuse University Press, 2002), and UCI Professor Nasrin Rahimieh, an expert on the literature of exile and displacement and author of Missing Persians: Discovering Voices in Iranian Cultural Heritage (Syracuse University Press, 2001).

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Born in southern Iran in 1980 shortly after the Islamic Revolution, photographer Gohar Dashti’s series Life During Wartime reflects the feelings of a post-war generation. The unresolved issues of social poverty and the ensuing war with Iraq derailed their social prospects, resulting in a time of isolation and unprecedented despair.

“With so much impressive art to draw on, this film is a visual treat, but what really elevates it as a documentary is the strength of the interviews – strong voices with sometimes clashing agendas, each offering a unique perspective on a country “which seems to have a revolution every 30 years.” Iran is in flux and none of the women speaking here is sure what the outcome will be, though many are hopeful. It’s often said that suffering makes a great artist, and this film suggests that the suffering of a nation can have a similar effect.”

Film critic Jennie Kermode, UK’s Eye for Film

Robert Adanto
The Rising Tide
Pearls on the Ocean Floor
3D: Darkly Digital & Divine

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