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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Political > Googoosh: Iran's Daughter

Googoosh: Iranís Daughter (Documentary)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B†††† Documentary: B

 

 

How ugly can the silencing of one voice be?Especially in a country taken over by Islamic extremists like Iran in 1979, it can be a marker of the end and catastrophe in general.Such is the tale of the female singing sensation Googoosh, who was forbidden to sing or perform after 1979 and after having one of the most enduring careers of any entertainer in the history of the Arab World.Director Farhad Zamani, previously a helmer of film shorts, makes his feature-length debut with the amazing documentary Googoosh: Iranís Daughter (2000), which boldly tells the story of Islam and the Arab World while exposing the talent that would never go away.

 

A multi-media phenomenon before most knew what that was, especially in the Arab World, she was not only a phenomenal recording artist, but also a major theatrical film star and all since childhood.She was the heart and soul of what fellow Iranians hoped would be a better tomorrow.However, the Shaw Of Iranís regime was slowly imploding and soon an ugly, violent and bloody revolution sold as centrist and unextreme would take over.The film covers the issues Arab countries have with women; ones they need to get over quickly or they will never be free of radical terrorists.Part of the problem on a legitimate front is distinguishing itself from The West and still allowing women freedom, but most of it is abuse of Islam and a misogyny that is tremendous and a scourge on the world.

 

Now some people are hit successes based on timing and just that they build a fan base, as demonstrated by the recent bubblegum pop trend, but the fact is that Googoosh can sing and her acting was not bad.They even thought enough of her to put her into a thriller that imitated the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcockís Psycho (1960), which I wish they would show in its entirety.My only complaint is that they kept repeating footage, sometimes the same few seconds, over and over in a row.This did not hurt this presentation too much, as it at least made some sense, unlike The Hunting Of The President (reviewed elsewhere on this site) from 2004 about the desecration of The Clinton Presidency.This is a far more competent work in dealing with its serious subject.

 

The 1.66 X 1 frame cuts just fine with the English subtitles (where applicable, the Farsi segments) for 1.78 X 1 televisions.Oddly, though not an anamorphic transfer, there is a good number of sections of her feature films, most of which happen to be shot in some unidentified anamorphic scope format.These unsqueeze well if you treat the transfer as if it were anamorphic.That means the picture is inconsistent throughout, no matter how you play it, but this critic preferred the latter option.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has moments of monophonic sound, but no surrounds of any kind.I doubt any of the scope films were magnetic stereo, but I would be curious and maybe weíll see that at a later date.Extras include 16 small slides of Googoosh, a list of her work on CD, three bonus songs of hers with a still of her with each, two short films by Zamani (two very well-done letterboxed (at about 1.78 X 1) works) entitled The 5th Disease (1993) and S?dney (1997).They are both in black and white, though some of the latter has a bit of color footage in it.Finally, there are trailers to three other related First Run DVD titles, but not this one.Nevertheless, the documentary runs 158 minutes, all of which are compelling.Googoosh: Iranís Daughter is highly recommended.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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