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Prince Ehtejab | Shazdeh Ehtejab (1974)
Based on a famous novel by the late Houshang Golshiri the film is about the last of a Ghajar Dynasty, but in reality was a very strong indictment of monarchy.
When the film won the Best Film prize at the Third International Film Festival of Tehran the passage of getting a release permit was made easier, although still the scissors of censorship took about five minutes out of the film.
Knowing that he must soon die, the Prince recalls the extravagant regimes of both his father and grandfather, who were directly related to the Qajars, the former royal family of Iran.
Farmanara shows how each generation has taken cruelty a step forward, from the crude anger of the grandfather to the ruthless psychological torture inflicted on his wife by the Prince himself.
The dialogue is full of pretty ironies, the compositions are arresting, and the atmosphere of the old house is perfectly conveyed.
Farmanara deservedly won the Grand Prix at the Tehran International Film Festival of 1974 for Prince Ehtejab and the film's closing shot, of the doomed man slowly descending a spiral staircase into the dark bowels of his mansion, is hard to forget.