Chess of the Wind (1976), directed by Mohammad Reza Aslani (Iran)
Screened publicly just once before it was banned and then lost for decades, this rediscovered jewel of Iranian was surely one of the most singular and astonishing works of the country’s pre-revolution New Wave. A hypnotically stylized murder mystery, Chess of the Wind unfolds in an ornate, candlelit mansion where a web of greed, violence, and betrayal ensnares the heirs to a family fortune as they vie for control of their recently-deceased matriarch’s estate. Director Mohammad Reza Aslani crafts an exquisitely controlled mood piece that erupts in a stunningly subversive final act in which class conventions, gender roles, and even time itself are upended with shocking ferocity.
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, in collaboration with Mohammad Reza Aslani