Hossein Torabi

Hossein Torabi

Hossein Torabi, director of the acclaimed For Freedom (1979), which the British Film Institute hailed as a documentary that “shook the world,” was born in 1936. His oeuvre includes many well-received documentaries and screenplays. He served as a jury member in a number of film festivals, including the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the Fair Film Festival. Hossein Torabi’s cinema is a great example of direct cinema, or cinéma vérité, in which the camera seeks to portray reality without the use of artificial elements. His unique capture of historical events has led to the creation of remarkable pieces of visual history and highlights cinema’s responsibility to document pivotal events. Torabi’s camera follows everyday experiences, as well as the Iranian population’s traditions and rituals. Though the cinematography is simple, it is incredibly functional.

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Hossein Torabi
  • For Freedom

    برای آزادی
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1979 • Iran
    Pure “Direct Cinema”: Hossein Torabi films the events without knowing their outcome: Processions of mourning and jubilation, scenes after the fire in the “Cinema Rex” in Abadan, southern Iran, in which 377 viewers died; the famous interview with...

  • Mashhad

    مشهد
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1970 • Iran
    A documentary about the holy city of Mashhad, highlighting the contrasts of faith and modernity under Shah in the Iran’s early 1970’s. Narrated by late poet Ahmad Shamloo.

  • The Faith

    ایمان
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1970 • Iran
    A documentary about traditions, pilgrimage and faith revolving around the tomb of the 8th Shi'a Imam – Imam Reza – with stunning images of inside the tomb complex.

  • Ghamsar Rosewater

    گلاب قمصر
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1971 • Iran
    A documentary about the village of Ghamsar, the historic hub of making rose water in Iran, depicting the traditions of making their famed perfume.

  • Isfahan

    اصفهان
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1976 • Iran
    City of Isfahan, the ancient Persian capital and its stunning architecture, arts and traditions are pictured in this documentary, while using the backdrop of then Iran in the last years of Shah and drive to modernize the country. Words and narration...

  • Ferdowsi and the People

    فردوسی و مردم
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1977 • Iran
    A documentary about Ferdowsi, the great Persian poet of 9th century, the creator epic Shahnameh (the book of kings). The film examines the impacts of the poet and his masterpiece, almost one thousand years after its creation, on Iran and Iran...

  • In Memoriam of a National Leader

    یادی از یک رهبر ملی
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1979 • Iran
    A short documentary about Dr.Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882 –1967), the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, who was removed from power with a coup orchestrated by British and American governments, and changed the fate of millions o...

  • The Seesaw

    الاکلنگ
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1969 • Iran
    The short film that portrays two couples, one traditional and one modern, given in the backdrop of the playground they met.

  • The Messenger

    پیامبر
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1976 • Iran
    A short film about the small post office in Saman, a small village in rural Iran, and it’s dedicated postman. After the office manager is transferred to another position, the lone postman takes it upon himself to handle the entire office. He cleans,...

  • The Spectacles

    عینک
    Directed by Hossein Torabi • 1978 • Iran
    A short film by Hossein Torabi. The story begin with a boy’s routine visit to optometrist. He has poor eyesight and is prescribed with glasses. That is the beginning of the troubles for the little boy, who lives with his single mother in poor outskirt...