A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution

color. 47 min. Bahman Tavoosi, dist. by Magic Lantern Films, 2015. DVD $278. Public performance. INT AFFAIRS
In 1979, an anonymous photographer won a Pulitzer Prize for "Firing Squad in Iran," a photo of 11 Kurdish men being executed after the Iranian Revolution. In 2006, after years of fearing for his life, Jahangir Razmi announced that he had taken the picture. A few years later, Razmi and filmmaker Tavoosi (The Republic of [A]) attempt to re-create the photograph using actors and a location in Canada (where Razmi and Tavoosi currently live). It took years to find the location best suited for the updated image. Several of the actors are themselves refugees or descendants of refugees, making this a more personal role to play. Unfortunately, the film is disjointed and poorly edited (there are ten-second blank-screen moments that may have viewers thinking the DVD is damaged); features intermittently poor audio; and needs more interviews with Razmi and the actors.
VERDICT Owing especially to the high price and technical issues, this title is recommended only for academic libraries with inclusive film or photography courses.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing