Pearls on the Ocean Floor
The Downtown Independent is proud to present this timely film this Sunday, March 13th. The doors will open at 7:00pm.
Independent documentary filmmaker Robert Adanto just returned from the Glasgow Film Festival, where his second art-related documentary Pearls on the Ocean Floor was well-received. So far, it has screened at LACMA, The MFA Boston, The San Francisco Institute of the Arts, The Smithsonian Institution, as well as The London Iranian Film Festival. He was just invited to bring Pearls on the Ocean Floor back to the UK to screen at London's Tate Modern.
Two recent reviews:
Following the festival, Mr. Adanto traveled to London and Amsterdam, to complete the European portion of his next art-related documentary--- 3D: Darkly Digital & Divine, produced in association with Movie Magic Media Productions and RH Gallery in NYC. Steve Nalepa, a former colleague of Adanto's at Crossroads middle school and the current Professor of Electronic Music at Chapman University will play pre & post-screening sets of music at the event. Nalepa has scored Mr. Adanto's first two films The Rising Tide and Pearls on the Ocean Floor and has begun working on a new score for 3D: Darkly Digital & Divine, which features interviews with photographers Ruud van Empel, Erwin Olaf, Lisa Holden, and Oleg Dou.
The ubiquitous images of security forces cracking down on demonstrators in Iran garnered global media attention throughout the last twelve months. Last June all eyes were on the Islamic Republic of Iran as its citizens took to the streets to protest the results of a disputed election. Thirty years after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a proud nation once again stood at a crossroads. The Green movement, built of a courageous populace seeking justice from an entrenched and imploding regime, continues to seek change in Iran, despite shockingly brutal government forces.
There is no better time than the present to examine this fascinating nation and no better approach than through the visual imagery of female artists. It is women who have collectively bore the brunt of an oppressive regime and the bias of a western media that has repeatedly constructed one-dimensional images portraying them as humorless, repressed, second-class citizens in black chadors.
Robert Adanto's Pearls on the Ocean Floor challenges this stereotype and caricature obscuring the vibrant and robust culture in Iran and its diaspora. Professor Hamid Dabashi recently wrote, "a much more patient reading of the visual and performing arts of this generation is needed before we know what in the world it is doing." Indeed, as the younger generation invents a new identity for the 21st century, replacing the religious ideology and revolutionary fervor of the state's credo, contradictions abound. Photographer Shadi Ghadirian explains that her work "touches upon our struggle to hold on to our parents' and grandparents' traditional values and practices while experiencing the benefits of modernity without getting caught up in its vices Change is an inevitable process," she says.
Facing issues of identity, gender, and social restrictions, the artists featured in Pearls on the Ocean Floor speak with a compelling quiet reserve and a striking boldness. Their work reveals encounters between religion and secular modernity, change and tradition, contemporary life and history. These brave women know now more than ever that their voices must be heard and their people understood. Through their words and their art, the real Iran will be discovered and this important historical moment has been documented.
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