Tehran, the 25th Hour
Tehran: Sa'at-e Bist-o Panj

IRAN / 1999 / Persian / Color / Video / 20 min

Director, Photography, Script, Editing: Seifollah Samadian
Sound: Sasan Tavakolli
Production Company: Tassvir Monthly Magazine (Visual Arts)
Source for Japan & Asia: Shohreh Golparian / Small Talk Inc.
34-18-306 Chigusadai, Aoba-ku
Yokohama Kanagawa 227-0051 JAPAN
Phone & Fax: 81-45-972-3394

Seifollah Samadian

Born in 1954, in Orumieh, Iran. Started photography in 1969 and documentary filmmaking in 1978. Directed numerous documentaries on the past 20 years of the Iranian Revolution, including: The White Station, The World Cup '98, On Iranian Film Industry, Abbas Kiarostami (Three Views).

All of Tehran goes wild after the national soccer team's victory in the qualifying match for World Cup '98. Such an outburst of emotion and unbridled joy is rarely to be seen in Iranian cinema presented overseas, and proves how limited our knowledge about Iran is.

Director's Statement
After the revolution in Iran in 1979, more than three million Iranians left their country for social, political, and economical reasons, and settled in countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia.
Before Iran's qualification in World Cup '98, no other event was able to unite all these diverse groups of Iranians and those in Iran to celebrate together a common victory. For 20 years due to the Iran-Iraq War and political turmoil in Iran and its negative reflection in the western media, Iranian cities were known for their sadness and gloom.
On Saturday, November 29th, Iran witnessed the performance of a movie which I had wished to see for about 3000 years in the history of Iran. It was a beautiful film whose screenplay was written and was directed on Iran's Sweet Saturday by the people of my country. A few minutes after the referee Mr. Puhl's whistle at the end of the Iran-Australia game, on Saturday afternoon, the pleasant event began all over Iran and ended very late the same evening.
If I don't give any explanation about the unique world of "the art of soccer," I should say that soccer is the most repetitive screenplay of human history which has as many directors, actors and spectators as the number of times it has been repeated: as many "endings" as directors, actors and spectators, as many "enigmas" as all its "endings."
Speaking of enigma, when I reach this part of my history and of my epoch, I remember my trip to Cannes on its 50th anniversary. I'll only mention the moment when Abbas Kiarostami won the Palme d'Or for the Iranian people, especially for those living outside its borders, whose shaky identity had been severely attacked during the post-revolution years. And again, I don't know why I consider Kiarostami's Palme d'Or as the first spark of the happy fire which Khodadad Azizi, on behalf of the entire Iranian soccer team, lit suddenly and at the same level in the hearts of every Iranian. A burning fire which at once burned the inevitable idea of being rootless, in the hearts of those who never, not even for a second, could believe having anything in common with their roots inside Iranian borders again.
A kindness settled in which can only result from the historical unity of a people. Soccer and cinema created this beautiful miracle.
Tehran, the 25th Hour is a complete short documentary film of one eventful day, but it is also part of a longer series about youth and soccer in Iran, which started three years ago as events started in Iran and ended in France during World Cup '98.
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COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee