Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life - 1925
Directed by Merian C. Cooper
This classic documentary by the filmmaking team that would later go on to make King Kong chronicles the great migration that the 50,000 strong Bakhtiari Tribe undertakes twice a year in order to bring their herds to greener pastures. This is one of the first interactions between Hollywood and Iran and because of its documentary nature remains one of the most objective portrayals to this day.
B&W, 1 hour 11 minutes, Silent
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A map charts the filmmaker's route to reach "The Forgotten People," more specifically the Baba Achmadi Tribe of the Bakhtiari.
The stern leader of the tribe, Haidar Khan, teaches his son and heir Lufta to mind the horses.
Though only nine years old, young Lufta has already been hardened by previous migrations and is well on track to someday take his father's place at the head of the tribe.
A horseman witnesses the massive undertaking that is the Bakhtiari migration from afar.
Crossing the half-mile wide Karun River aboard rafts kept afloat by inflated animal skins. It takes days for the entire tribe and their herds to make it across.
A group of men go ahead of the group to create a passable trail for the animals on the snow topped peak of the Zardeh Kuh (Yellow Mountain). They proceed in the snow barefoot so as not to wet their shoes.
In a shot that would make Abbas Kiarostami proud, the tribe zigzags up the Zardeh Kuh.
After having made the long migration, Haidar and Lufta enjoy a moment of peace and relaxation in their new surroundings amongst the fields of green grass.
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