Ruhollah Zamani stars as teenage trooper in war drama “The Bakeri Martyrs”
Art and Experience:
Ruhollah Zamani, the star of the acclaimed child labor drama “Sun Children”, is playing the role of veteran Khosro Mollazadeh in the war drama “The Bakeri Martyrs” during his teens.
Mollazadeh joined the Iranian volunteers during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war when he was only 14. He fought in Operation Kheibar beside Hamid Bakeri, an IRGC chief, who has been portrayed in the TV series project.
Mollazadeh had to leave the frontline at 18 when he was seriously wounded in combat.
The series focuses on the life story of Mehdi Bakeri, the chief of IRGC 31st Shura Division, and his brothers Ali and Hamid.
Mehdi commanded the IRGC division in several major operations during the war and was martyred along with Hamid. Ali, their older brother, was killed earlier by the SAVAK intelligence services in 1972.
The director of the project is Hadi Hejazifar who also stars as Mehdi Bakeri. The series is being made at Sima Films, a film production studio affiliated with IRIB.
Zamani and other child actors in “Sun Children” were selected by director Majid Majidi from over 3,000 auditions held over a four-month period at a school for child workers in Tehran.
Like other child stars of “Sun Children”, including Shamila Shirzad and her brother Abolfazl, Ruhollah had never acted before.
However, he won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor at the Venice Film Festival in 2020 for his role in “Sun Children”, which was later shortlisted for the 2021 Oscars.
“He was pure, filled with raw energy, determined to give more than expected,” Majidi said about Ruhollah.
“Casting the main character was the hardest task. But Ruhollah surpassed all the others because he had such an intensity, such a desire to get the lead — much like the character in the movie, so determined to find the treasure and save his mother,” he added.
With the “Sun Children” team’s assistance, Ruhollah has enrolled in an acting school, which he will attend once the pandemic is over.