Ragbar (Downpour). 1972. Iran. Written and directed by Bahram Beyzaie. With Parviz Fannizadeh, Parvaneh Massoumi, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz. Digital restoration courtesy Janus Films, restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Bahram Beyzaie, restoration funded by Doha Film Institute. In Persian; English subtitles. 128 min.
In this, one of the most accessible and beloved Iranian New Wave films, a young teacher is sent to a school in the impoverished south end of Tehran, where he falls in love with his student’s elder sister, and directs all his energy into helping the students put on a stage show. Moving, witty, and brilliantly directed in an energetic and unusual combination of neorealism and political symbolism, Bahram Beyzaie’s first feature was realized with a shoestring budget but managed with astounding success to blend its director’s roots in theater, literature, and film history with a story that, even to this day, resonates powerfully with Iranians.