Googoosh: Iran's DaughterClosed Captioning
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About the Movie
Googoosh was Iran's most famous and beloved pop diva, until she was silenced following the 1979 Islamic revolution when female singers were labeled “temptresses” and forbidden to release records or perform publicly in the presence of men. In this award-winning documentary from First Run Features, Googoosh: Iran's Daughter, Iranian-American filmmaker Farhad Zamani provides a thoughtful examination of the phenomenon of Googoosh. Made during the time when Googoosh was forbidden to grant interviews or perform, the film artfully pieces together clips from Googoosh’s career on stage and screen, creating a portrait of a woman who is a cultural icon for a country trapped between tradition and modernization. The rise and fall of her career—from her beginnings as a child star prodded by her entertainer father, up to and including her twenty years of silence—is placed in the political and historical context of the ever changing status of women in Iran. Zamani explores his enigmatic subject through interviews with close friends and family, including her only son. And although still banned from performing in her homeland, Googoosh has recently rekindled the hearts of Iranians living abroad on the international touring circuit with sold out shows at such venues as the Staples Center, Wembly Stadium, and the Air Canada Arena in Toronto.
An Ambitious, Avant Garde Portrayal of Iran's Pop Star Googoosh
Googoosh, a film written and directed by Farhad Zamani, is an ambitious portrayal of Iran’s equivalent to a pop star who is as well known in that culture as Madonna or Elvis is in the United States. The interviews with family and friends, as well as her family’s personal home movies and her professional films from the 1960s and 70s in both English and Farsi, chronicles the life of a fascinating woman far ahead of her time. Googoosh did not flee to America and Europe, as so many Persian-American artists and intellectuals chose to do, and her singing and acting career were silenced by the political regime that took over after the Revolution in 1979. (It was only recently, in 2010, when she was once again allowed to perform.) The repetitive film clips in an avant-garde filmmaking style seem to imitate the non-linear progression of time and looping of memories in the experimental tradition of Maya Deren and Alain Resnais. To the average viewer this may be somewhat distracting, but I believe this film is still well worth the time and money. It was a pleasure to learn more about this fascinating artist and culture.