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                                        Volume. 12117

Restored version of “The Night It Rained” screened at IAF
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Filmmaker Kamran Shirdel (C) receives a plaque of honor from writer Mahmud Dowlatabadi during a ceremony that the IAF held on Augusts 14, 2014 to screen his “The Night It Rained”. Director Varuj Karim-Masihi is also seen in the photo. (IAF/Leila Ebrahimi)
Filmmaker Kamran Shirdel (C) receives a plaque of honor from writer Mahmud Dowlatabadi during a ceremony that the IAF held on Augusts 14, 2014 to screen his “The Night It Rained”. Director Varuj Karim-Masihi is also seen in the photo. (IAF/Leila Ebrahimi)
TEHRAN -- A restored version of the documentary “The Night It Rained” (1967–1974) by veteran filmmaker Kamran Shirdel was screened at the Cinemathique of the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) on Thursday evening.
 
Filmmakers Varuj Karimi-Masihi and Homayun Asadian, author Mahmud Dowlatabadi, and artist Aidin Aghdashlu were among those who watched the restored version, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday.
 
Shirdel made the documentary based on the actual events that happened in 1967 in a village near Gorgan in the southeastern Caspian Sea region where a teenager named Ismaeil saved a freight train on a rainy night after he noticed the flood had washed out a section of railroad track.
 
Shirdel, 75, expressed his thanks to Iran’s National Film Archive for the restoration of the film and said, “Darisuh Mehrjuii (director of ‘The Cow’) and I should be happy since our films were preserved (after the restoration)”.
 
There are still many films kept in the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance that need to be restored, he added.
 
“Watching this film revives a special memory in me. I enjoyed the satire hidden in the film when I watched it for the first time. This film is still startling for me after all these years, for the kindness and compassion it bestows upon the viewers. I hereby kiss Shirdel for the deep compassion flowing through this film,” Aghdashlu said.
 
Film critic Khosrow Dehqan called Shirdel a unique phenomenon in the cinema of Iran. 
 
“I respect Iran’s commercial cinema, but I believe the documentary cinema is much more important,” he said, adding that he hoped there would be a good situation in which other Shirdel’s productions would be screened.
 
Film critic Hushang Golmakani said that he watched the movie in 1974 and was still surprised after he saw the film after all these years.
 
Since the mid-1960s, Shirdel has made bold documentary films that address everyday issues of his native Iran, influencing an entire generation of contemporary Iranian filmmakers. 
 
He was originally hired as a filmmaker for the Ministry of Culture and Art under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 1960s, but over the decades his films have at times been banned, censored and confiscated.
 
Shirdel was handed the Silver Cypress of the forum after the film screening.
 
RM/YAW
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