Fariborz David Diaan’s personal video journal of his first trip to his homeland in 24 years, “Iran Is My Home,” suggests at first a more engaging slice of cinema than it actually becomes. Superficial in its coverage and treatment of Persian complexities, this is little more than a travelogue either incapable or uninterested in penetrating below the surface of a country undergoing fascinating internal battles that cut across culture, politics and religion. Fests looking for anything Iranian may bite, but docu is more likely to pop up on the satellite-TV channels beaming from L.A. into Iran on which Diaan regularly hosts shows.
Sent off with a touching, cautionary farewell by his mother, Diaan and his fiance wing to Tehran in the year 2000 and encounter: Some frustrated, unemployed men; lots of traffic and signage; a park with 10 museums; lavish resort hotels and condos on the popular Caspian Sea coast; the well-preserved Ramsar Hotel; the elaborate Tabatasai House; glorious architecture in Isfahan; and his childhood home back in Tehran. Sound bites with strangers sprinkled throughout the trek leave viewers wanting much more than this pic delivers.