55 minute, HD, Portrait Documentary
“From Baku to Belmont” is an intimate visit with memorable Mr. Khaze, a hospitable 86 year-old Iranian-American Baha’i, whose stories of past are raw and visceral. With his memories of his parent's exile from Baku after Russian revolution, his account of medieval -style persecution of his fellow Baha’i friends in a village in Iran, and his first-hand description of the murder of a doctor friend in the hand of extremists, Mr. Khaze draws us into an outlandish history filled with conflicting emotions. Through the layers of grotesque details a paradoxical truth emerges: that the only belief that could stand a chance against hatred and ignorance, is one’s faith in the goodness of human heart. Now living in Belmont, he makes a point by never missing a friend’s birthday. He calls and plays birthday song for them over the phone. Mr. Khaze always welcomes his visitors with his cooking and Persian delicacy, his witty observations, the warmth of his heart and humor of his company.
“From Baku to Belmont” is part of an ongoing project "Marginalia".
"Marginalia" is an umbrella-title for an ongoing project that began in 2012. It includes a series of portrait documentary films, audio recordings, photos, and personal belongings collected from different individuals. Similar to marginalia, which adds personal side notes to an established content of a book, this series intend to collect personal histories of marginalized-groups and bring their invisible history and stories to the foreground. Each film in an invitation to the intimate space of a home and situates the viewer in a close contact with one character. Through this connection and the life-stories being told a window opens up to the history of the period of time that each character been living then and the events that is happening now.
“From Baku to Belmont” is the first film of this series.
The second film “The Woman Who Carries a Bag of Dust” is currently in post-production.
Producer, Director, Editor: Rashin Fahandej
Executive producer: Ladan Doorandish
Composition and Sound Design: Parisa Sabet
Tenor: Paul Williamson
Animation: Michaela Čopikova
Cinematographer: Yari Wolinsky
Lighting Director: Cary Wolinsky
Sound recorder: Jason Bashaw
Script Consultant: Omid Fallahazad
Research Assistant, Subtitle and Credit: Anisa Hosseinnejad