14 May 2006
We have just seen independent filmmaker Jafar Panahi’s 2003 feature film Crimson Gold for the third time; each viewing adds pleasure and wonder. The true events in which Crimson Gold is based were brilliantly scripted by director Abbas Kiarostami to show how inequities, slights and hypocrisies can drive an ordinary — almost a saintly — man played by Hussein Emaddedin under his own name, over the edge. The movie will be welcomed by those who associate Iranian films with just stories of children or with existential angst. A trenchant study of class differences and religious intolerance, Crimson Gold won the Jury Award at Cannes and was adjudged the best film at the Chicago Film Festival. This astonishing, near perfect, work is now available on DVD from Wellspring.