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Zurkhaneh – The House of Strength
Year:  2010
Running Time:  105 minutes
Country:  Italy/Canada
Genre:  Documentary
Cast:  Music: Giuliano Belotti, Ali Reza Hojjati, Jamshid Tabardaran, Mehregan Gerami Haqiqi, Mohammad Aramesh
Showtime:   Tuesday, August 07, 2012 @ 06:00 PM
Director:  Federico Spinetti

Description:
  [Screening @ Tiburon Film Society]

Zurkhaneh – The House of Strength is a feature documentary about the traditional gymnasia where a unique form of Iranian martial arts is practiced to the accompaniment of drumming, sung poetry and expressions of Shi’a devotion. Based on extensive ethnographic research, the film journeys from the Iranian diaspora in Canada, across urban Iran, to the first international Zurkhaneh Olympic tournament in South Korea.

Music and martial arts performances are woven into encounters with vivid human experiences as athletes, musicians and experts reveal a variety of subjectivities, perceptions and struggles within the religious, ethical and social world of Zurkhaneh.

What emerges is the integration, but also the tensions, between the ethical and competitive aspects of Iranian martial arts, between Sufi-inspired mysticism and the religiously-inflected nationalism of post-revolutionary Iran, between grassroots community engagement and Olympic aspirations.











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