#IranianHomeCinema 22# SHIRIN (2008) by Abbas Kiarostami
By Abbas Kiarostami
Iran Protected content 92’, Farsi with English Subtitles
Shirin is actually a prolonged concept of Abbas Kiarostami's three minute film Where Is My Romeo that was a part of the anthology To Each His Cinema Protected content . The director was so inspired by this idea that he decided to expand it into a long feature film. The story of Shirin is based on a 12th century Persian poem by Farrideh Golbou, 'Khosrow e Shirin', which involves a love triangle between an Iranian king, an Armenian queen and an Iranian sculptor. The development of the text - long a favorite in Persia and the Middle East – remains invisible to the viewer of the film, the whole story is told by the intense and beautiful faces of Protected content Iranian theater and cinema actresses and an French star watching the show.
There is no “real” film about Khosrow and Shirin that is being withheld because the actresses are not responding to an actual film, it’s important not to think of Shirin as a documentary. They are not even reacting to the script, which wasn’t written at the time of filming. Kiarostami didn’t decided on a story until after filming. Instead, the actresses followed directions from Kiarostami while facing a camera. It was not until later that the filmmaker impressively edited this into a cohesive assemblage accompanied by a dialogue and score. Through this lens, Shirin is a fictional tale, like “Khosrow and Shirin,” but it is one about cinema and spectatorship.
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