Septembers of Shiraz

Synopsis: Prior to the Iranian revolution it was a place where people of all religions were allowed to flourish. This is the story of a prosperous Jewish family who abandon everything before they are consumed by the passions of revolutionaries.
Genre: Thriller
Director(s): Wayne Blair
Production: Millennium Films
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min

- Come on, let's go out!

- No, khanoum,

it's too heavy for you.

- Habibeh, you've been working

since 5 A.M.

I can carry a cake.

- Navid, keep smiling,

you might give me some nephews.

- Khanoum,

please let me take care of it.

- Hello. Hello. Oy! Thank you.

Thank you.

Gather round.

Don't worry, I won't sing.

I promise.

Thank you. Thank you all...

For coming this evening.

I guess the last year

has been...


It's one way to put it.

Very challenging, for all of us.

But, uh...

We're still here,

and we're celebrating.

And we have you

to thank for that, son.

You and that hard head of yours.

I can just hear

your grandfather.

If he were still here,

he would be saying

the same thing about me.

Now you're on your way

to boarding school in the U.S.

I think we told you that

we needed to think about it.

- And I said,

"don't you even dream about it."

- And in the meantime,

he did what any young man

with a good, uh, you know...

Did what I did

when I was your age.

You took matters

into your own hands.

And I couldn't possibly

be more proud.

So... here we are.

Sending parviz off to...

Deerfield academy

in Massachusetts.

Travel safe. Study hard.

- And don't you dare come home

with a cowboy hat.

- L'Chaim.

- L'Chaim!

- Just eight months

since the shah fled Iran,

the ayatollah khomeini

and his islamic revolutionaries

have consolidated power

and transformed the country.

Sharia law now rules the land,

and a rising tide of violence

is now targeting

many of the very groups

that helped

the revolution abound.

Students, socialists,

intellectuals and, indeed,

just about anyone who is not

an islamic fundamentalist.

Revolutionary guards are now

running the city of Tehran.

- Come on, baby, let's go up.

- All that needs

is a match and:


Do you really not feel it?

Or you don't want to?

That we're sitting

on a time bomb.

- You see what that does to you?

It's not good for you.

You get totally wound up.

- Wound up! Our country

is coming apart at the seams!

- Please, Isaac, not again.

- Open your eyes, farnaz!

Take it all in.

Because at some point soon

we're going to need

to leave it all behind.

- Mama, baba! Are you okay?

- We're alright, sweetheart.

- What happened?

- Must've been a bad tube.

- Yeah.

- I, uh... have to...

Finish my packing.

- Okay.

- Good night.

- Good night.

- In a shift away

from its declaration

that the government

would not include

a supreme islamic

clerical ruler,

the ayatollah has claimed

that the guardianship

of islamic jurists--

- habibeh, would you

turn that off, please?

- Yes, khanoum.

- Changes to the newly proposed


- we need to talk.

I'll be home for lunch.

- Good. At what time?

- One o'clock.

- Okay.

What about my kiss?

- Bye, baba.

- Bye.

- Lock your door.

Go on, you're gonna be late.

Shirin, your scarf.

How pretty.

- Hmm. Beautiful, harad.

- Thank you, boss.

- Hmm.


No, we're actually

ahead of schedule.

Yes, we'll ship the orders


Thank you.

Mm-hmm, thank you.

Likewise. A pleasure. Bye.

- Brother amin,

we're here by order

of the revolutionary guards.

You're under arrest, brother.

- May I see your papers?

- Brother, don't concern

yourself with papers.

You're brother amin, correct?

- Yes.

- Then come with us.


- I'm brother mohsen.

Please follow me.

Have a seat.

Not there, the other one.


Brother amin...

What exactly do you do?

- Ahem.

I'm a gemologist,

and a jeweller.

- Hmm.

Our records show that you

travel to Israel quite a bit.

Is that correct?

- Yes.

- What for?

- Well, sir, I have--

- please, call me brother.

- I have family in Israel...


There are no laws against

traveling there, are there?

- Brother, are you familiar

with the Mossad?

- I have nothing to do

with government affairs,

neither here

nor in any other country.

I'm a businessman

who happens to be a Jew,

that is all.

- It's not that simple.

Tell me about your wife.

Farnaz amin, right?

Wh-what does she do?

- She's a housewife.

- Really?


Who is this?

I believe it says here

farnaz amin?

This is not correct?

- She used to write an article

here and there...

- This skating rink was a haven

for sin, you realize,

and this article

is a piece of propaganda for it.

- No, it's not what you think.

She just wrote about

what was going on around her.


Please tell me

that she's alright.

- Too many factors

play against you at the moment.

- Hello.

- Farnaz.

- Ah, Navid!

Thank god you called.

I have been trying to reach you.

Where are you?

- It is better if I do not say.

- What do you mean?

I can't find Isaac.

- Isaac...

Has been arrested.

- How do you know?

- From my friend.

He joined the guards

before this.

- But why?

- You think they need a reason?

- Do you know where he is?

- Not yet.

I will call you when I do.

- You have to help me

find your brother.

- They'll try and break him,


and then we'll all be at risk.

I have to go.

- I know...

It smells awful.

It's terrible.

I'm sorry.

My name is mehdi, by the way.

- Isaac.

- So...

How is it outside?

- Outside?

Since when?

How long have you been here?

- Close to eight months now.

- Eight months.

- Just remember,

if they ask you questions,

say the minimum necessary.

- Don't worry,

amin is a good man,

and he will get out.

Praise Allah.

Every pilgrim goes to mecca

his own way.

- Sister?

- I am looking for my husband.

I was wondering if he's here.

- We don't give out

such information.

- Brother, please...

I would like to know

if he's alive.

He didn't come home from work

last night.

- Maybe he had better things

to do.

- I know plenty of men

like that,

but Isaac amin

isn't one of them.

- Who is this?

- I'm a friend.

- Alright, wait here.

- You see, khanoum,

it's good that you brought me.

He liked the idea

of someone like you

would have a friend like me.

- Come in.

- It will be alright.

- Yalla, yalla.

- State your name.

- Vartan sofoyan.

- You know this man.

- I am afraid not.

- Then why the gasp?

- The hood, brother...

It startled me.

- Take him.

Follow me.

You know that man,

vartan sofoyan.

- I said I didn't and I don't.

Brother, I am here looking

for my husband, Isaac amin.

- Sofoyan was good friends

with the royal family.

He played for them

on many occasions.

- I really would like

to find out where my husband is.

- You were once a journalist.

Is that not correct?

- I would not call myself that.

I wrote once in a while.

- A dabbler, then.

- I suppose.

- Only those who can afford

to be dabblers dabble.

Those who have to work, work.

- I could only afford it

thanks to my husband,

who worked very hard.

- Yes, he worked very hard

in amassing his fortune.

- He earned his money honestly.

- Tell me about these articles.

- They were light pieces.

- I'm feeling light

this morning. Indulge me.

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Dalia Sofer

Dalia Sofer (born 1972) is an Iranian-born American writer. Born in Tehran, Iran was raised in a Jewish family during revolutionary Iran, she eventually moved to New York City when she was 11. She attended the Lycée Français de New York, and went on to study French Literature at NYU with a minor in creative writing. She received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, was published in 2007. Sofer is the recipient of the 2008 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for The Septembers of Shiraz. She has also won a 2007 Whiting Award for fiction, and has been a resident at Yaddo. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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