Golden DancesRaghs haye talayee
IRAN / 2006 / Farsi / Color, B&W / Video / 26 min
Director, Editing, Narrator: Ali Kalantari
Script: Babak Khazraee, Ali Kalantari
Photography: Alireza Fakhrizadeh
Sound: Arash Ghasemi
Assistant Director: Bita Razavi
Producer: Omid Aladini
Production Company, Source: House of Documentarians
An elderly craftsman once made golabetoons, used as decoration for women’s clothing, using a secret method of mixing silver and gold. Now, he is unable to craft as he used to, and merely gazes at his old creations displayed in a museum. With materials being hard to come by during the war, coupled with the loss of relatives, he was physically and mentally devastated, and the rhythmical movements of his weaving hands stopped completely. However, one day, he suddenly wakes up saying that he wants to make a wedding dress. Unable to obtain gold and silver for his golabetoon, he decides to use something rather unusual . . . The craftsman’s machine spins an exquisite thread, just as it had before. And so the old man’s hands weave the remains of the war.
[Director’s Statement] A few years ago, on a trip to Isfahan, while visiting an old bridge, we came across a santur player sitting under one of its thirty-three arches, telling the tale of the instrument beside him to the crowd of people: that the strings were made of tank-shell cartridges by an old man who had lost his son in war. The santur player looked like a man who eagerly wanted to describe the miseries he had suffered during the war and his story seemed like a device to keep people around, but we thought it was a good subject for our new film.
We wrote the screenplay which ended with another war that turned the strings into shells again. But after finding the old string-maker’s workshop near Isfahan, it changed to a documentary film about his life and what he had done with the dross of the war.
Born in 1980 in Tehran, Iran, Kalantari started as a short-story writer and screenwriter. After making a number of commercial advertisements, he started making documentaries. In 2002 he took part in the third exhibition of new art at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art with other artists such as Abbas Kiarostami. Golden Dances won awards for best film, best cinematography, and best editing at the Kish International Documentary Film Festival in Kish, Iran, and was screened at many international festivals. He is currently working on his new movie, Fossil and Fossil Seller.