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An amazing story of a lifelong connection to poet Farough Farrokhzad.
Hossein Mansouri is an Iranian man who lives in Germany. He organizes an evening of poetry reading in his home town Munich. He translated some poems by Farough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) and screens her short film The House is Black (1963). This is the start of a story that is masterfully told, slowly unfolding surprises and emotional moments.
The first setting is the Sixties in Tehran. Farough Farrokhzad shot The House is Black in a lepers-colony outside Tabriz. Hossein Mansouri lived there as a young boy. His parents were lepers, he and his younger sister were healthy kids. Mansouri is shown in the film as an energetic happy kid. The teacher asks the class to mention some beautiful things. The young kid answers with four words: moon, sun, flower, game.
Farrokhzad decided on impulse to adopt him. He moved into her house in Tehran. Four years later, in 1967, she died in a car accident. He was only ten years old at that time.
The second setting is the situation in 2008. The documentary shows two travels: Mansouri visits the brother of his foster-mother Farrokhzad and other family members in Tehran. Together they make a pilgrimage to the old house and to the cross road where the fatal accident took place. Mansouri visits also his foster father, producer/director Ebrahim Golestan, now living in the British countryside.
In Munich we see Mansouri lives his life among his friends, featuring most prominently three people: his steph-son, the Ethiopian coffee-seller, and the Iranian shopkeeper who patiently listens to the draft versions of his translation of the novel Parfume by Patrick Süsskind.
To give some context to this personal story, the filmmakers also interviewed Iranian/American researcher Farzaneh Milani, who wrote a dissertation on Farrokhzad and is working on a biography.