This week’s Movie for Readers, Septembers for Shiraz, is one I stumbled upon on Netflix only three or four days ago. Prior to that lucky occurrence I was unaware of the movie or the 2009 novel by Dalia Sofer upon which the film is based. The novel is a semi-autobiographical one based on what the author experienced as a ten-year-old in Iran in 1982 when her father was jailed and tortured there before escaping prison.
Two years have passed since the Shah’s fall in 1979, and the Revolutionary Guards is actively “cleansing” the country of anyone suspected of spying for, or having ties with, the West. Wealthy Jewish gem dealer Isaac Amin, a man who used to do business with the Shah and his family, is a natural target for the brutal regime that succeeded the Shah – and when one of his employees denounces him to the Revolutionary Guards he is arrested without warning. Taken to prison for interrogation, Amin witnesses the torture and deaths of many of his fellow prisoners before he finds a way temporarily to bribe his way out of prison. Now Amin, his wife, and their daughter have to manage their way across the border before he is re-arrested and hauled back to prison.
Septembers for Shiraz is beautifully filmed and acted, and it’s a film I highly recommend.
Septembers for Shiraz Trailer
The 2015 film stars Adrien Brody as Isaac Amin, Salma Hayek as his wife, Ariana Molkara as their daughter, Shohreh Aghdashloo as their housekeeper, and Alon Abutbul as Isaac’s interrogator. Don’t let this one get by you – it’s that good.