Art And Culture

From Lorestan to the West

From Lorestan to the WestFrom Lorestan to the West

An exposition on the life and works of author Ali Mirderkvandi, the documentary ‘No Heaven for Gunga Din’ was recently screened at the Iran’s Artists Forum.

Directed by Gholamreza Nematpour, the documentary got its name from a story with the same name by Mirderkvandi, MNA reported. Published in 1965, the original fable written by Mirderkvandi, with the help of British officer John Hemming, became a best-seller in Britain and the United States.

A native of Lorestan Province in western Iran, Mirderkvandi was a peasant who taught himself to read and write Persian and English. With the help of Prof. R. C. Zaehner the book was also published in six other languages. Sadly however, Mirderkvandi passed away days prior to its publication.

The book aroused widespread controversy inside Iran. The press referred to him as the ‘missing millionaire’ and a public search to find him was launched. The author was in fact living in dire circumstances in Borujerd. In his documentary, Nematpour has tried to accurately represent all the related facts.  

Nematpour, a native of Lorestan himself, first came to know of Mirderkvandi while reading a book about the reputable figures of Lorestan. Since its release, the documentary has won several awards including the prestigious Crystal Simorgh for best research-based film at the 32nd International Fajr Film Festival. The documentary has also been shortlisted in the International Film Festivals of Seattle and Toronto.