Chess Game of the Wind, The (1976): Iranian Mohammad Reza Aslani’s Striking Feature Debut

The Chess Game of the Wind

Mohammad Reza Aslani, 1976, Iran, 93m

Farsi with English subtitles

A landmark of Iranian cinema, Mohammad Reza Aslani’s debut feature is set during the rule of the Qajar dynasty and chronicles the fallout when a noble family’s matriarch passes away, kindling tensions new and old among her heirs.

Screened publicly just once and long thought lost after the 1979 Revolution, The Chess Game of the Wind evokes the work of Luchino Visconti in its sumptuous, refined, and poetic rendering of aristocratic decadence, the passage of time, the ties that bind, and the desires that set us against one another.

Featuring a remarkable score by the trailblazing female composer Sheyda Gharachedaghi and masterfully lensed by Houshang Baharlou with a candle-lit grandeur reminiscent of Kubrick’s Barry LyndonThe Chess Game of the Wind ranks among the great (re)discoveries of world cinema. 

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.