, Visiting Artist/Premiere
Part of Views From Iran 2010
Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari will introduce the film and have a post-screening discussion on April 16.
A post-screening discussion with William Beeman will follow the film on April 17.
The Walker first exhibited New York–based Shirin Neshat’s work in 1998—the same year she won the Venice Biennale’s prestigious Golden Lion prize for her video pieces. Her first major U.S. solo exhibition was presented here in 2002. She returns with her feature film debut, an adaptation of the novel by exiled Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipur. Set in Iran during its infamous 1953 CIA-backed coup, the film follows four women from different social classes as they take refuge in a metaphorical orchard. Through striking visuals and magic realism, Neshat plumbs the depths of their personal tragedies. “Filmed in haunting muted hues, the women’s individual journeys are compelling, and the broader themes of the tensions between religion and secularism and between tradition and modernity have never felt more relevant” (British Film Institute). Selected for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and winner of the 2009 Venice Film Festival Silver Lion. 2009, 35mm, 95 minutes.
William Beeman: Biography
Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota
Professor Beeman’s scholarly interests and research include sociolinguistics and the semantics of interaction; cross-cultural comparison of theatrical and performance genres; opera; paralinguistic and nonlinguistic semiotics; action anthropology; philosophic anthropology; peasant and nomadic societies. His research in recent years has explored neuroscience and cognition in conjunction with music and theatrical performance.
He is an internationally known expert on the Middle East and the Islamic World, particularly Iran, the Gulf Region and Central Asia. He has also conducted research in Japan, India, Nepal, China and Europe. From 1996-1999 he sang professionally in Europe as an operatic bass. He continues his musical career.