Using materials from the Ajam Digital Archive, Narges Bajoghli recounts the experiences of Iran-Iraq War veterans who spent endless days during their youth fighting in close combat in dark and bloody trenches.
Through Bashu’s attempts to assimilate into a village where his dark skinned features and Khuzestani Arabic denotes his displacement, Beizai’s film prompts criticisms of ethnocentric Persian nationalism and questions the experience of blackness in Iran, while neatly underscoring the tension between nationalism and gender.
The satellite dish made a significant impression on Iranian society in those years. It was an accessible window into other worlds. Iranians could glimpse the social lives of other peoples through its programs; learn of the latest consumer goods through its advertisements; and follow life-style channels.
The Paykan, like many of its drivers, has survived the tumult of revolution, war, reconstruction, and economic crises. The resilience of the Paykan mirrors that of 20th and 21st Century Iran, which can explain why it still endures not only as functional car, but also as a symbol of collective experiences and an object of nostalgia.