Every year during the holy month of Muharram, ordinary merchants, truckdrivers and carpet salesmen don costumes to reenact the death of Imam Hossein, the grandson of the prophet. This film takes a fresh look at this theatre,or reenactment. Stripping away the stage and props,it brings actors and musicians from all over thecountry to Tehran, to perform against a white screen. This process is at once discomforting and reassuring: the removal of what is essentially a theatrical ritual from its traditional setting unnerves the actors,while at the same time they bask in the limelight of a film. Scenes from the recording studio areinterspersed with the daily lives of the performers.Through the lens of this unique theatre the film examines Iranian society, communal mourning and the complex layering of religious representation.

(Shabih-khani)/DVCAM/50 Minutes/Farsi with English Subtitles/2006

Photo by: Siva Nayeri