Skip to main content


Iran (MIFF 2005, Documentaries)

Director: Bahman Kiarostami

Despite landmines, kidnapping, assassination and death by dehydration and starvation, thousands of determined Shiite Muslims have been pouring across the Iran-Iraq border since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government. Some estimate as many as 3000 a day make the journey. They risk their lives to visit the holy city of Karbala, 80km south of Baghdad, the site of the shrine to the seventh-century Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Mohamed. The determination of the Shii'a pilgrims confronts the Iranian government with a plethora of logistical problems. Revising border security, emigration policies, relationships with Iraq, and facing hostile coalition forces, the government remains stranded between its allegiance to Islam and the intention to assert its authority. Amid the disorder in the border city of Mehran, Bahman Kiarostami (son of renowned Iranian director and MIFF 03 guest, Abbas Kiarostami) illuminates facets of Iranian history, culture, religion and politics. [Pilgrimage] is a poignant, bizarre and often startling documentary film examining an intriguing religious phenomenon.
D Bahman Kiarostami P Bahman Kiarostami, Marjeneh Moghimi WS Butimar Productions L Farsi, Arabic w/English subtitles TD video/ col/2004/52mins Bahman Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran in 1978. He has made more than 10 films, mostly focusing on art and music.

See also...


In a country like Iran, where 75 per cent of the population is under 25, football can tell a lot about society and its people. While half the population, women, are not allowed to enter a stadium or ... More »


Moshen Makhmalbaf's feature films have long followed the Iranian tradition of blurring the line between fact and fiction. His 2001 film, Kandahar, documented one woman's heartbreaking journey through ... More »


Celebrated Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami receives a desperate fax from a Ugandan orphan relief organisation. Assistance is urgently needed and a documentary on the subject by so esteemed a ... More »


21 women were murdered in a single year in the Iranian holy city of Mashad. Strangled, their bodies were cocooned in their long, black chadors, knotted at both ends and dumped beside roads or in ... More »

Prostitution Behind the Veil

[Prostitution Behind the Veil] opens a window onto the difficult lives of Minna and Fariba, two young single mothers who make their way as best they can in a society that affords little opportunity ... More »


If fashion were a religion, Bergdorf Goodman would be its church. ... Beginning life as a tailor shop in 1899, Bergdorf Goodman is now known as a couture mecca, so revered in the fashion world that ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director