THE CHESS GAME OF THE WIND

شطرنج باد

Directed by Mohammad Reza Aslani

Cast: Fakhri Khorvash, Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Shohreh Aghdashloo

This film is available to view in California only. Limited tickets.

Official Selection, 2020 Cannes Classics
Official Selection, 2020 New York Film Festival

RESTORED IN 2020 BY CINETECA DI BOLOGNA AND THE FILM FOUNDATION

In the final gasp of the Qajar dynasty, the passing of a wealthy matriarch leaves conniving would-be heirs jockeying for power. The ambitious spew verbal poison and the hopeful inspect the jewels, all while the deceased’s daughter, the scorned Lady Aghdas, who looks like she stepped out of a Klimt painting and into a cold sweat, rolls through the rooms in a creaky wheelchair, the queen of a chess game that promises no winners. Their magnificent mansion, full of hanging aquariums, giant gramophones, and other monstrous objects of expired glory, envelops the emboldened kin, whose toxicity is so old it’s seeped into the walls.

The house and its exquisite staging, setting, and atmosphere steal the show at every turn. In his breathtaking debut, director Mohammad Reza Aslani crafts an unforgettable gilded bordello of decaying wealth. The cinematography conjures the stench of dust and the bowels of aristocracy, especially in the film’s sinister final act. The impeccably timed musical score drives the film’s slow, menacing march toward death. History would soon turn the pages on the film too. THE CHESS GAME OF THE WIND screened only once before the Iranian Revolution, after which it was forced underground until the negatives were discovered in a Tehran antique shop in 2015, primed for restoration and rediscovery. 

–Brian Hu

Co-Presented by Persian Cultural Center

Preceded By

The House is Black

Directed by Forough Farrokhzad

In this stark and awe-inspiring documentary, legendary poet Forough Farrokhzad rhythmically mixes faces, bodies, and words to capture the humanity in a leper colony.

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