Iran fragment no. 283 [Through Persia]. c. 1925. Country unknown (possibly Germany). Directed by unknown. DCP courtesy Eye Filmmuseum. 2 min.
Rare and yet to be identified, this European cameraman’s footage seems to be a travelogue of the passage across the vast desert between Isfahan and Yazd in the 1920s.
Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life. 1925. USA. Directed by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack. Digital restoration with a new orchestral score by Patrick Holcomb courtesy Kino Lorber and Milestone Films. World premiere. 71 min.
Restored by The Museum of Modern Art in all its breathtaking splendor, Grass is one of the great epics of the silent era, by the filmmaking team that would become famous for King Kong. The film is an exhilarating documentary on the migration of the nomadic tribe of Bakhtiari in central Iran and their crossing of the Zagros Mountain. Though contemporary Iranian audiences were apparently nonplussed, the film had a memorable revival at the Shiraz Arts Festivals of 1976, and today it is cherished as the indelible portrait of a lost way of life and a testimony to the grandeur of the Iranian landscape and the resilience of its people.