Chess of the Wind


ByTowne Cinema Tue, Dec 14, 2021 6:45 PM
ByTowne Cinema Wed, Dec 15, 2021 9:15 PM
Film Info
Release Year:1976
Production Country:Iran
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Mohammad Reza Aslani
Cast:Shohreh Aghdashloo
Shahram Golchin
Mohammadali Keshavarz
Fakhri Khorvash
Hamid Taati


Met with critical hostility and audience indifference when it premiered in Tehran in 1976, the ravishing period drama was banned by the Islamic Republic and considered lost until 2014, when the director’s son discovered a can containing a print of the film in a junk shop. Now restored under the aegis of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project, it enters theatres again as that unlikeliest of revelations: a nearly 50-year-old masterpiece virtually unknown till now.

A hypnotically stylized murder mystery awash in shivery period atmosphere, 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. Melding the influences of European modernism, gothic horror, and classical Persian art, 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.