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To celebrate the month of March and the advent of the Persian New Year or Nowruz, the Levantine Cultural Center presents two feature-length documetaries from 2012 that celebrate the Iranian people.The Green Movement, directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi, is a powerful political film that reveals what happened during the 2009 election protests, when millions of people took to the streets, while The Iran Job, directed by Till Schauder, is a great basketball movie about an American from the Caribbean who leads an Iranian team in Shiraz. In both films the people of Iran are the heroes.
About The Green Wave
Green is the color of hope, green is the color of Islam. And green was the symbol of recognition among the supporters of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who became the symbolic figure of the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. The presidential elections on June 12th, 2009 were supposed to bring about a change, but contrary to all expectations the ultra-conservative populist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was confirmed in office. As clear as was the result, as loud and justified were the accusations of vote-rigging.
The on-going Where is my vote? protest demonstrations were again and again worn down and broken up with brutal attacks by government militia. Images taken from private persons with their cell phones or cameras bear witness to this excessive violence: people were beaten, stabbed, shot dead, arrested, kidnapped, some of them disappearing without trace. What remains is the countless number of dead or injured people and victims of torture, and another deep wound in the hearts of the Iranians. Read more.
About The Iran Job (excerpted from the Levantine Review)
Kevin Sheppard, a flashy point guard who once played for Jacksonville University, makes his living playing overseas in countries such as Brazil, Spain, Venezuela, China and Israel. He gets an unexpected job offer-a year-long contract to head up A.S. Shiraz, a new team competing in Iran's Super League. Thus begins his journey from a life of relative comfort and security into an uncertain new reality, playing professional basketball in Iran.
Hollywood has produced dozens of sports films about heroic underdogs fighting the odds (among them The Longest Yard, Bull Durham, Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, Moneyball), but few are as compelling and evocative as Till Schauder's low-budget indie. This 93-minute documentary follows its unlikely hero-an American basketball player from tiny St. Croix in the Virgin Islands-into the maw of Islamic doom, only to turn our expectations upside down and our emotions inside out. In The Iran Job, shot almost entirely on location in Shiraz and Tehran, the women are strong and outspoken, men are team players who push themselves to the limits, and almost everyone loves Americans-except perhaps the morality police and Ahmadinejad. The film is a winner.
When & Where
The Markaz champions a greater understanding of the Middle East and North Africa by presenting artistic and educational programs that bridge political and religious divides. In a search for common ground, the Markaz fosters discussions among artists and thinkers and offers classes and workshops that serve diverse ethnic communities.