TEHRAN — Narges Abyar plans to make a screen adaptation of Iranian writer Simin Daneshvar’s best-selling novel “Savushun.”
A director of acclaimed films such as “Track 143”, “Breath” and “When the Moon Was Full”, Abyar has already directed a series based on the novel for release on Iranian VOD platforms. She also wrote the screenplay.
The novel was published in 1969 and its English translation “Savushun: A Novel about Modern Iran” by M. Ghanoonparvar was released in Washington, D.C. in 1990. Another English interpretation by R. Zand under the title “A Persian Requiem” has also appeared in New York in 1991.
“Savushun” chronicles the life of a Persian family during the Allied occupation of Iran during World War II.
It is set in Shiraz, a city that evokes images of Persepolis and pre-Islamic monuments, great poets, shrines, Sufis and nomadic tribes in a historical web of interests, privileges and influence from foreign powers; the corruption, incompetence and arrogance of those in positions of authority; the paternalistic owner-farmer relationship; tribalism; and fear of starvation.
The story is seen through the eyes of Zari, a young wife and mother, who faces her idealistic and uncompromising husband while struggling with his desire for traditional family life and his need for individual identity.
The heroic stand taken by the southern family against British colonial intrigues ends in the murder of the husband, with the wife determined to continue the fight.
Daneshvar’s style is both sensitive and imaginative, while following cultural themes and metaphors.
In the basic Iranian paradigms, the characters play the roles inherent in their personalities.
While “Savushun” is a unique work of literature that transcends the boundaries of the historical community in which it was written, it is also the best single work for understanding modern Iran.
Although written before the Islamic revolution, it brilliantly depicts the social and historical forces that gave pre-revolutionary Iran its characteristic hopelessness and emerging hopelessness so misunderstood by outsiders.
Pictured: Director Narges Abyar in an undated photo.