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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Saturday Night at the Movies

Let's go to the movies on Saturday night.

I'd like to see a movie called Transit Cafe, which is available for purchase here on DVD for just $5.95. A bargain if I ever heard one. Here's the plot summary:
An independently-minded Iranian widow and mother flouts tradition by re-opening her late husband's Europe/Asia border café in this socially-oriented drama from director Kambozia Partovi. In the wake of her husband's death, Reyhan (Fereshtei Sadre Orafaei) longs to re-open her late spouse's café despite rigid social standards that explicitly discourage her from doing so. Isolated from her friends and neighbors for her headstrong efforts to get the business back on her feet, Reyhan also faces pressure from her conservative brother-in-law Nasser (Parviz Parastoei) -- who longs to take Reyhan as his second wife as permitted by custom. Despite Nasser's vengeful efforts to break Reyhan's spirit and put her out of business, Reyhan's culinary skills soon begin drawing a healthy clientèle that includes kindly Greek trucker Zakariyo (Nikolas Padapopoulis); whose relationship with the determined restaurateur may provide an exit from her current crisis. Written by Kaaveh
Sounds good so far. And conveniently for me, it was just released in Israel last week. That probably means it has Hebrew subtitles; otherwise I will have to invite my neighbor from across the hall - whose family comes from Iran - to translate into Hebrew for me.

I can be reasonably sure it's suited for religious people because
Iran's "ministry of culture and Islamic guidance" has censored scenes in which Zakhariyo (Nikos Papadopoulos) and Reyhan (Fereshteh Sadr Orfani) make romance.
And it was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film in 2006.

So why can't I watch it? Because Iran's government sponsored ultra-conservative mouthpiece is upset that the Jews like the movie:
Apparently, Israelis have liked the Iranian movie Cafe Transit. That is enough for the ultra-right state-run newspaper Kayhan to complain, “The full support of the Zionists, whose hostility towards Iranians and Iran is well-known to everyone showed that … [this movie should have never been sent to the 2006 Oscars]”. Then, the newspaper asks how the “Zionists” have been able to acquire the copyright of the movie [Persian]. This is from a newspaper whose head is assigned by the Supreme Leader. Another person he directly assigns is the head of the national television. I wonder if they are that much concerned about Hollywood movies in there.
Wouldn't want the Jews to get hooked on Iranian culture now, would we?

Maybe we'd better just go watch Dhimmi.


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