Aimed at worldwide fans of Iran’s cult poet Farough Farroukhzad (1935-1967), this 3×60-minute docu by well-known film critic Nasser Saffarian is comprehensive, fast-moving and often astonishing. A glamorous, taboo-breaking writer who became famous at age 17 with “The Captive,” her first book of poems, Farough was also an introspective, vulnerable woman whose life ended in a car crash at 33. Lavishly illustrated with photos and images, full of anecdotes and even a conversation between Farough and Bernardo Bertolucci, pic seems too frank and racy for domestic consumption in Iran, but offshore it will be a must-see for followers in cultural centers and on homevid.
Saffarian meticulously intercuts soundbites from interviews with the poet’s family and Iranian literary figures to build up various themes. The daughter of an army colonel and a feminist mother (still living), Farough began writing in high school. She gained notoriety from her direct and explicit love poems, whose eroticism was unprecedented for a woman even in pre-revolutionary times. In addition to writing, she acted, painted and made an influential documentary called “The House Is Black.” Pic is serious-minded but fascinating throughout.