America So Beautiful - 2001
Directed by Babak Shokrian
Houshang, a recent immigrant to America from Iran, aspires to live an easy and glamorous life. He believes that buying a share of a Los Angeles Disco will start him on the right track towards owning a club of his own. The events of the movie take place during the Iranian Revolution and the subsequent hostage crisis. The days of the hostage crisis are counted down as the story unfolds. While the Iranian-American characters try to ignore the troubles of their homeland and go on with their lives, the crisis is front and center in the minds of their American counterparts.
Color, 1 hour 31 minutes, English/Farsi
Houshang (left, Iranian-American pop star Mansour) convinces his hard-working friend Parviz (Fariborz David Diaan) to put up the money for an investment in a Los Angeles disco.
Parviz and Houshang meet Dariush (Bobby Dayani) who goes by the nickname of "Disco Danny." Parviz admonishes him for the callousness in which Dariush forgoes his namesake and heritage.
A group of ministers from the Shah's regime are gathered together and conned by the seedy club owner Sahmi. The group includes an eccentric general (Dariush Iranejad) who insists on playing piano while they meet so "spies" can not hear their plotting.
Even though he has business with the club's owner Sahmi, the bouncers do not hesitate to refuse entry to Houshang and his cab driving friend. Houshang decides that at the next club they should pretend to be "Italian." Parviz teases his friend by insisting he will pretend to be "Irish."
In order to improve their chances of getting into a club, Houshang convinces Parviz to borrow his boss's Mercedes. In an very Iranian fashion, his boss describes how 50% of the car belongs to his wife, 45% of the car belongs to his daughters, and only 5% is left for him.
A waitress vents her frustration over the hostage crisis, "I don't know much about eyeran or the eyeranians but what I do know is that the whole world is laughing at us. People don't respect us anymore, they're gonna walk all over this country." She later treats the Iranian patrons to a rendition of "God Bless America."
When the group settles for an Iranian restaurant they witness the appearance of an exiled Iranian actress (played by Shohreh Aghdashloo).
America so beautiful. Houshang accepts a life of thankless work.
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