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A Silenced Historical Testimony

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A Silenced Historical Testimony

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Cinema Iranica (April 16, 2024) A Silenced Historical Testimony. Retrieved from https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/7711-2/.
"A Silenced Historical Testimony." Cinema Iranica - April 16, 2024, https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/7711-2/
Cinema Iranica November 13, 2023 A Silenced Historical Testimony., viewed April 16, 2024,<https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/7711-2/>
"A Silenced Historical Testimony." Cinema Iranica - Accessed April 16, 2024. https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/7711-2/

In 1994, three years before Kiarostami’s Palme d’Or-winning Taste of Cherry (1997), Abadani-ha/Abadanis, a cross-cultural adaptation of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) directed by Kianush Ayari, almost made it to the list of Cannes festival’s nominees but the IRI government banned the film from attending the festival because of its anti-war point of view and the alleged dark social realism. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine the difference Abadanis’ presence at Cannes could have made to the general direction of international Iranian cinema, and the constantly censored filmmaker’s career. Three decades after its production, the multifaceted thematic and cinematic aspects of the film continue to shine out and call for critical reengagement. This essay approaches Ayari’s Abadanis/ Abadani-ha (1993) as a marginalized, boycotted, and underrated adaptation of Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves and discusses the ways the film interconnects with De Sica’s film, Bartolini’s novel and socio-political peculiarities of post-war Iran. Drawing on personal interviews with the director, the essay explores the means of authorship in border-crossing adaptation and the socio-political urge that anticipated re-historicizing neorealism with the emergence of Abadani-ha as a visual testimony to postwar Tehran. The essay maintains that a historical testimony memorized in cinema is not to remain silenced as it has come to being to speak out.