Iranian director seeks to show “Behind the Walls of This House” abroad

May 29, 2022 - 18:41

TEHRAN – Iranian director Leila Jafari said on Sunday that she is seeking an overseas audience for her latest documentary “Behind the Walls of This House” about stage director Ali Rafiei, a pioneer of modern theater in Iran.

She made the documentary in December 2018 when Rafiei was staging Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba” at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall.

“Behind the Walls of This House” was screened for the first time at the Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran in a private session with the cast and crew of the play as part of a program for Rafiei’s 84th birthday celebration on January 12, 2022.

“I have no idea how interesting this documentary can be for ordinary people, but I think that screenings in certain places can produce quite good results for us,” Jafari told the Persian service of Honaronline.

Along with the line producer, Farzam Shekari, she is seeking to screen the documentary in overseas cultural and academic centers alike.

Although the documentary centers on the skills and method Rafiei used to stage “The House of Bernarda Alba”, it also provides a deep insight into the moral characters of Rafiei, whom she believes is one of Iran’s three most important stage directors.

“He has a lot of things to say about the advent of modern theater in Iran, imagination and many other topics,” Jafari said.

She lamented the dearth of performances by the elites of Iranian theater.

“This condition has caused the younger generation of the Iranian theater to know little about the elites in this field,” she added.

“Unfortunately, we don’t respect our pioneers and do not know how to safeguard the things our luminaries left for us,” she noted.

Jafari said that making the documentary has given her numerous lessons, which she had never experienced during her university days. Therefore, she plans to make more documentaries about other Iranian art masters.

“‘Behind the Walls of This House’ represents what you taught us, the sweet experience of working in the group of ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’, whose leader was you and still keeps the light of house of theater on; a house for which you hold its light,” the cast and crew also wrote in a statement published for Rafiei’s birthday celebration.

Photo: Director Ali Rafiei poses during the premiere of the documentary “Behind the Walls of This House” at the Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran on January 12, 2022. (IAF/Leila Ebrahimi)

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