A screen version of the story of Salinger translated into Farsi

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The article analyzes the film Pari (1995) by the Iranian Director Dariush Mehrjui based on J.D.Salinger's book Franny and Zooey. The screen adaptation was made without Salinger’s authorization, so the film went on quietly, without much visibility at international events, including film festivals. Unlike many other Iranian films of that time, where a woman's freedom is assumed as an achievement, the film Pari shows a female character who perceives her freedom as a given. But freedom turns out to be a burden for her, resulting in a deep existential soul-searching crisis. The problem of the interaction of a highly gifted personality with the world of the ordinary people found in Salinger’s prose, proved to be relevant for Iran of the 1990s.

In the film Pari, Mehrjui introduced fundamentally new characters for Iranian cinema of the 1990s. On the one hand, there was an emancipated and independent intellectual woman, on the other, a full-hearted and secure intellectual man who had been through the war.

Iranian films of the Shah period typically portrayed intellectuals as unpractical and hysterical members of society. In his film Pari, Mehrjui creates an image of intellectuals the audience can connect with. Compared to Salinger, he is far less judgmental and critical towards the ordinary people who he sees as complex individuals not perfectly consistent in everything they do in live. Despite the obvious differences in the characters’ world outlooks and in the social conditions around them, Salinger and Mehrjui come to the same conclusion: one should always follow their heart and try to find fulfillment in their lives.

It proves to be a pattern that screen adaptations set in Iran but based on the works of Western authors acquire political implications and reflect the currents and attitudes of society, as well as its ideological and political trends.

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Grigoreva Natalia G.

Associate Professor 

S.A.Gerasimov Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK)
, Moscow

Author for correspondence.
Email: nloskutova@yandex.ru

SPIN-code: 2077-4320


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Ali Mosaffa in the role of Dadashi. Shot from D. Mehrjuy's film “Betting” (1995)

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2. Nicky Karimi as Paris. Shot from D. Mehrjuy's film “Betting” (1995)

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