After 26 years of being banned by the Iranian government, The Nights of Zayandeh-rood directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf in 1990 in Iran, will open the Venice Classics 2016.
The Nights of Zayandeh-rood, a film that Iranian audience queued for kilometres at nights to be able to view it at its premiere during Fajr Film Festival, was heavily attacked by states press and the Iranian government in 1990.
The film censorship committee in Iran found the film to be against the spirit of Iranian revolution and therefore cut away 37 minutes (a third of the entire movie) from the original negative , both before and after the festival.
Nevertheless the Islamic government in Iran considered the remaining 63 minutes still to be against the purpose and objectives of the revolution due to its controversial contents and therefore seized the original negative, explicitly prohibited its public screening and denied its copying permission forever.
In 2016 some parts of the original negative were rescued from the censorship committee archives in Iran, and the film made it to Venice Film Festival.
The Nights Of Zayandeh-rood narrates three era of Iranian people’s live: Before, during and a few years after the revolution. The film investigates the roots of ongoing dictatorship in Iranian society.
Earlier in his press conference, Alberto Barbera director of Venice Film Festival announced: This year opening film of Venice Classics is The Nights of Zayandeh-rood by the Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf.
All films in this section are from the legend of world cinema including Andrej TARKOVSKIJ, John FORD, Woody ALLEN, Robert BRESSON, Akira KUROSAWA, Louis MALLE, Nikita MICHALKOV, Gillo PONTECORVO.
The 73rd Venice Film Festival will be held from Aug 31 - Sept 10 , 2016.