Art And Culture

Saffarian’s Documentary at London Fest

Saffarian’s Documentary at London FestSaffarian’s Documentary at London Fest

‘Crossed Out Memories’, a 40-minute documentary on ‘anti-romantic’ Persian songs, will be screened at the 7th London Iranian Film Festival.

The festival runs from October 28-November 2, where the film directed by documentarian Nasser Saffarian, 41, will be screened on October 29.

The documentary, which is part of Saffarian’s trilogy on Iranian songs, critically reviews the “bitter themes” that surfaced in Persian pop songs composed in the 2000’s, ISNA reported.

His other documentaries are ‘The Night of Infatuation’, a film on history of song-making in Iran, and ‘I’m Only a Poet, Captain’, which is about poet, singer and lyricist Yaghma Golrouee, 41. Golrouee’s poems are mainly about love, society and the environment.

An earlier version of ‘Crossed Out Memories’ had been made in 2007-2009, which underwent an extensive revision in 2014. “Its initial title was ‘Dream of the Sun’. Half of its footages were deleted. Many new shots and contents have been added, while overall edit changed too. Actually we’re talking about a brand new film,” Saffarian said.

The previous work had a general approach to romantic songs, and “I had a feeling it wasn’t a successful rendition. Now the new version deals with only anti-love songs, and comes with a historical review and perspective.”

Saffarian says he now has “a better feeling about his film.” After all these changes, there was no reason to keep the previous title. “I named it Crossed Out Memories, for it is basically something different.”

Not only has he directed the film, he did the complete research and funded the project. His cameraman was Babak Bazrafshan and soundman Mehrdad Dadgar. The film was edited by Payam Parsafar and Salmeh Arbaboun.


‘Crossed Out Memories’ is a fascinating insight into the Iranian pop music scene, and is narrated by Saffarian himself.

He examines the history of the ‘anti-love song,’ a form that rejects the idea of the conventional love song in favor of the genre of dark subject matter, such as bitterness, betrayal and regret.

The film features interviews with acclaimed musicians and poets such as poet, composer and singer Shahkar Bineshpajouh, 43; opera and folk singer Pari Zanganeh, 76; and poet and screenwriter Ahmadreza Ahmadi, 75.

The film details the emergence of anti-romantic genre in the early 2000s, noting that anti-love song themes have existed as far back as the 1960s. It is absorbing and well researched.


London Iranian Film Festival is an annual, independent film festival. It is the only festival in the UK that is dedicated to Iranian independent cinema.

It is organized by the apolitical film-focused organization of UKIFF, which aims to provide a platform for Iranian cinema in the UK. The festival showcases films that consistently explore Iranian culture and identity.

The films selected for screening at the festival are placed in four categories: Short film, Documentary, Animation and Feature film. Prizes are awarded to the best film from each category on the closing night of the festival.


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