Doc depicting Charlie Chaplin’s bittersweet world premieres at TMCA
Art and Experience:
An Iranian documentary that delves into the bittersweet world of Charlie Chaplin premiered on Thursday at the Cinematheque of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA).
“Chaplin’s World” has been directed by Amir Tajik, the director of the acclaimed documentary “The Last Diplomat” about former Iranian diplomat Ardeshir Zahedi.
Chaplin’s antiwar attitudes, his exile from the U.S., his impacts on the world during the twentieth century, and several other topics have been surveyed in the documentary.
Speaking to the audience before the screening of the documentary, Tajik said that the idea to make the documentary began to form with his visit to the Manoir de Ban, a manor house located at Corsier-sur-Vevey on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland that was Chaplin’s home for 25 years from 1952 until his death in 1977.
He was in Switzerland to do research and shoot some scenes from “The Last Diplomat”.
“During this short time, I recorded scenes with my mobile phone camera in the home that has been converted into a museum. These formed the basic ingredients of the documentary that represents my experience of visiting Chaplin’s home and my childhood impression of this great artist,” he said.
“For me, having a plot is essential for making a documentary. In ‘Chaplin’s World’ I tried to use this method. In this documentary, we see Chaplin’s reaction toward contemporary society and the events of his age,” he added.
Tajik described Chaplin as a personality that changed into an effective cosmopolitan character and added that many directors in the world owe Chaplin a lot.
“In our country, many filmmakers and comedians have been strongly influenced by Chaplin. ‘Lizard’ was made [by Kamal Tabrizi] with inspiration from Chaplin’s ‘The Pilgrim’, and ‘5 PM’ [directed by Mehran Modiri] was inspired by his ‘Modern Times’,” he stated.
Mohsen Asgari, the writer of narration for “Chaplin’s World”, also attended the premiere of the documentary.
“Amir Tajik has his own independent view of issues and sometimes surprises the audience. This is due to the special narratives of his films and his concern for filmmaking,” he said.
Tajik’s “The Last Diplomat” on Ardeshir Zahedi, a former Iranian diplomat who served during the reign of Iran’s last monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the country’s foreign minister and its ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, premiered at the Mellat Palace Museum in Tehran in June 2020.
This film uncovers untold stories of Iran’s history witnessed by Zahedi, who was the son-in-law of the Shah.
His previous documentary “Afghanistan’s Safe Benches” premiered in 2019.
This documentary is about a Kabul’s soccer stadium where the Taliban used to stage public executions, and later found its practical application after the fall of the Taliban.