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Sunday 3 December 2017 - 21:31

"veh Antiyok Shapur" A Documentary About a Historical City with No Picture Remained from It

"veh Antiyok Shapur", a documentary by Soudabeh Mojaveri, about the city of Gundeshapur, is going to be screened at the 11th Iran International Film Festival, Cinema Verite.
"veh Antiyok Shapur" A Documentary About a Historical City with No Picture Remained from It
About the production of the film, Mojaveri explains: "veh Antiyok Shapur is about the ancient city of Gundeshapur, the world's first academic and international city with a large hospital and a huge library. The leading physicians of the time, with medical knowledge of Iran, Greece and India, gathered at this university, mixed their knowledge with the modern methods and so the medical method of Gundeshapur was presented to the world.
She added: "This city, which was a nook for physicians, scientists, artists and intellectuals, was built at the beginning of the Sassanid era and existed until the 4th and the 5th centuries AD, but unfortunately it suddenly disappeared which makes us suspicious of a political dispute. So, today, apart from large fields and a destroyed bridge, there is nothing left of it."
Mojaveri continues: "What made big traps in the way of the production of this documentary was the great visual and imagery void, and the mistakes in the research texts, that made the re-readings of all the old and new texts in our agenda. Topics such as Sassanian history, historical descriptions of the city, ancient roads that depicted the location of the city, ancient medicine and veterinary medicine, urbanism and architecture of the Sassanid era and Roman empire, hydrology and water engineering in ancient civilizations of Iran, the history of Persian-Roman wars and their results, the history of Christianity in Iran and so on.
She emphasizes that this two great issues led to the fact that the making of this documentary took six years to complete and said: "Wah Antiyok Shapur is the my most difficult project yet. Many topics are discussed for the first time in this in this film, which is the first documentary about Gundeshapur, as well as the history and civilization of the Sasanian era. Working with professional cinematohraphers such as Hassan Asadi and Mehdi Mousavi were the gifts of making this movie, the cinematographers who by capturing the internal, external, aerial and underwater shots and creating optical, and visual textures in the historical scenes, filled the lack of images from Gundeshapur and created fantastic visuals throughout the film."
She continued: "Despite the presence of highly skilled archeologists in Iranian prehistoric civilizations, it is very strange to me that there is a huge lack of Sassanian specialist archeologists who have a definite focus on Sassanid cities and civilizations.
According to Mojaveri, before the film was made, there were no equipment for excavating the city and the lack of any documented archaeological report (other than McAdams's in the 60s) made research difficult, but making this movie lead to an international Gundeshapur congress in Dezful, and so the excavating began.
The filmmaker said that all these were the result of this six-year effort, field research and extensive discussions with professors and researchers of the region. She stated: "At November 3, Gundeshapur University, dated to 1750 years before, got recorded the UNESCO World Heritage List."
Answering to the question that whether she used reconstruction to fill the existing visual void, she said: "It was am extremely dangerous move to reconstruct a city that does not even have a three-dimensional urban plan, while there is no such a plan by experts for the other Sasanian cities and there is a debate about the effect of the roman architecture still lurked over this and other Sasanian cities, which absolutely ruled out the possibility of making an animation or historical reconstruction of it. But aside from an urban image, there are reconstruction in the movie based on what was described by early Islamic writers and geographers.
She concluded: "I have tried to work in an analogous way, that is, I have used the architectural and the remaining urban structures of some Sasanian cities of Fars as a general image of Gundeshapur. Although the cities of Darabgard, Gor and Ivan Karkheh have disappeared, the city of Bishapur, which its construction started about 20 years before Gundeshapur, was still under construction at the birth of this city. Even the palaces of Ardeshir and Sarvestan, as the few remaining sites of the Sassanid era, can show the urban and architectural style of Gundeshapur, regardless of the materials.
 
Story Code: 2872
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