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October 2019, Week 3


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Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:30:30 -0400
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Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile

Available from Third World Newsreel

"Filmmaker Sepehri explores the impact of history before and after the
Islamic Revolution on the generation of those whose lives are divided
between early life in the homeland and an adulthood in permanent exile in
the West. The film delineates Naficy’s unique role as an interpreter of the
experience in all of its complexity."

- Festival of Films from Iran, Chicago

For Iranian scholar Hamid Naficy, exile is like an elevator that runs
between “two cultural poles, two memories, two lives.” Naficy belongs to
the Iranian generation that lived through the modernization of the country
that preceded the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and the Islamization that
followed it. Like many Iranians who were studying in the United States
universities when the revolution began, he chose not to return to Iran.

Both bilingual and bicultural, Naficy is known for conducting penetrating
analyses of both the rich cultural heritage of his homeland—his roots—and
of the fecund terrain of exile in his adopted land—his routes. In his
adopted country, he became a professor at Northwestern University,
published author, filmmaker, leading expert in diaspora studies, exile, and
postcolonial cinema, as well as a husband and father. At the same time, he
managed to keep a close link to Iran, his culture, his family and more
importantly, his mother.

Iranian filmmaker Maryam Sepehry followed both Hamid Naficy in the United
State and his family in Iran to capture a documentary portrait that packs a
powerful punch elucidating the complexities of personal identity in a
globalized world, where individual, national, and transnational forces
interact. A timely documentary film about exiles in America and the
families they left behind, MOUTH HARP IN MINOR KEY sheds light on the
dynamics of our contemporary times, beset by globalization and
consolidation of capital and media, on the one hand, and by fragmentation
and disruptions of nation-states, on the other. (Maryam Sepehri, 2017, 61
min, Trailer <>)

Cinema Verite Festival in Tehran, 2017

Festival of Films from Iran, Chicago, 2017

Visions of Iran: Iranian Film Festival Cologne, 2019

Buenos Aires International Documentary Film Festival, 2018

Milwaukee Film, 2019



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