Before the 1979 revolution, Iran was home to a thriving, popular film industry packed with violence and melodrama, and populated with sexy starlets and macho action stars. Most of these films are now lost, except for a few surviving, underground VHS tapes. Taking as its starting point the 1978 arson attack on the Cinema Rex movie theater in Abadan, which killed more than 400 people, Ehsan Khoshbakht's exhaustively researched documentary reconstructs this lively era of Iranian cinema history — one which few outside of Iran have been aware of until now. DIR/SCR/PROD Ehsan Khoshbakht. Iran/UK, 2019, color, 84 min. In English and Persian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
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