Remembering the Pentagons
2015 / 23 minutes / Iran/USA / 16mm / sound
A slow, rhythmic and contemplative journey into filmmaker Azadeh Navai's earliest childhood memories. With an old 16mm Bolex and a hand-made pinhole camera, Navai returns to Tehran and Esfahan, Iran, where the perceptions and recollections of places, emotions, and scents serve as vehicles through which she exposes a deeply personal landscape. She asks - what is the texture of memory? In what ways does time - the light, wind, and air of history - wear upon the monuments and the images of the past? Her camera, gliding through mosques and the heady wares of a bazaar, provides grounding to narrative themes of childhood wonder and familial tragedy. But, as in memory, there is trouble in the image. The convulsions of recollection are perceptible even in the shifting grains of the film image - kaleidoscopic in their geometries of instability and flux.
Born in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, Navai seeks to access a time of personal turmoil both for her family and for her birth country in this poetic capturing of place, history and memory.