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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.

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