Directed by Ali Asghar Agahbanaei • 1982 • Iran
An experimental documentary that takes world-building to an entirely new level, Rites of Spring showcases fragments of Iran’s history before, during, and after the Revolution of 1979. It begins with scenes of daily life, working-class people, and extensive shots of farms and nature. When the Revolution hits the country, the new focus becomes demonstrations, leaders’ preachings, and scenes of strife, revealing the constant fear and chaos that hover over the country. The birds that break out of their eggs toward the end signal an undeniably effective promise of a new beginning for a country that oscillates between revolution and war.