John And The Pahlavan Oct 5th 7.30pm 80 cooperage
Director Ryan Blake 1.9m USA
When Jahangir Golestan-Parast was 17-years-old he left his family, his friends, and childhood memories of his fathers Zurkhaneh. Like most teenagers, Jahangir was looking ahead and eager to shake the dust of ancient Persia and embrace the West. He immigrated from Esfahan to London and started identifying as “John” (to fit in and, he’d hoped, avoid prejudice).
Following his life long plan, John leap frogged to Los Angeles where he studied filmmaking at UCLA to follow in the tradition of the Hollywood idols that inspired his odyssey. It seemed he’d won his dream, but it didn’t fulfill the way he imagined. After 18 years away from Iran, John found his attention more focused on what he had lost: his Persian roots.
In 2016, the United World Wrestling brought an international world cup tournament to Los Angeles. Curious, Jahangir went looking to reconnected with his past and was immediately filled with a sense of pride and longed for a better understanding of his heritage. Recounting Iran’s history through the success of Iran’s national wrestling team, Jahangir started a personal cinematic cru-sade to reconnect with his home at a time when the United States stepped up its long- running sus-picion of anything Middle Eastern. Jahangir’s personal interest to simply celebrate his native cul-ture turned into a social effort to help audiences find understanding about Iran, dispel stereotype, and see the cultural beauty he almost forgot. screens with Healing of the Harman