Scen.: Ebrahim Golestan. F.: Soleiman Minassian. M.: Ebrahim Golestan. Mus.: Hossein Dehlavi. Int.: Ebrahim Golestan (voce narrante). Prod.: Golestan Film Studio. 35mm
Commissioned by the Central Bank of Iran to celebrate the collection of precious jewels kept in the treasury, this film remains Golestan’s most visually dazzling film, embellished with terrific camera movements. Some of the most iconic landscape photography in the history of Iranian cinema can be found within a minute after the opening credits, in which peasants of various ethnicities and tribes are quickly reviewed, all posed in a graceful manner, like kings without being kings. Like a work of musical composition, a simple act of ploughing is spread across shots of various size and angle, creating an intimate visual symphony. And then appears one of Golestan’s allegorical match-cuts: a farmer seen on the horizon before a cut to a diamond on a dark background – the farmer is the jewel. As in his previous commissioned films, Golestan manages to subvert the subject by being openly critical of the Persian kings. The theme of the commentary is in clear contrast with what is shown: colourful images of jewels in rotation while Golestan’s voice is heard, describing the decadence and treachery of past kings.
Da: University of Chicago Film Studies Center