TEHRAN HAS NO MORE POMEGRANATES! (D: Massoud Bakhshi, Iran). 67 minutes. Subtitled. Tuesday (April 22), 7:15 pm, ROM; April 24, 1:30 pm, Innis Town Hall. Rating: NN
This comparative essay on Tehran past and present comes off like one of those filmstrips you watched in elementary school. Like them, it also feels a lot longer than it is.
Using old film scraps mixed with contemporary footage, director Massoud Bakhshi teaches us that, hey, Tehran’s grown quite a bit in several centuries, and since the Islamic revolution no one’s got harems filled with scantily dressed women any more.
The doc’s saved from utter tedium by glimmers of tongue-in-cheek humour that probably come through more clearly in the original language. But quirky shooting and editing choices can’t mask the unsophisticated “then/now” structure of the narration.