Statues of Tehran
(Dir.: Bahman Kiarostami, Iran, 2008, 60 min., Persian with English subtitles)
Statues of Tehran focuses on monuments and memory, tracing the history of two famous public sculptures and their inevitable neglect in the course of revolution, war, and urban development. In years since the making of the film, Tehran has undergrone even more dramatic residential development. This film serves as a stepping stone between what Tehran looks like now and what, in living memory, it once was.
Both films were shown in 2010 at MOMA, and are still little-known. Kiarostami, son of Abbas, has made several documentaries and in the same style of documentary, speaks to museum staff and others about the museum’s history and current status. At a time when relations between Iran and America are thawing, we can only imagine how excited US museums must be to get a glimpse of the things in the museum’s vaults.