My time with Iranian actress, Golshifteh Farahani

     Every once in a while I re-post this because my traffic spikes with Iranians who can’t get enough of Golshifteh Farahani. I can’t get enough of her name. How many cool, unisex-sounding names are out there these days? Not many. Is it too late to reinvent myself as Golshifteh Foster?

     I was at a film festival in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2005 watching an Iranian movie called “Boutique“. The only Iranian movie I had seen before was “The Circle“, which blew me away, so I eagerly devoured this in a small theatre with maybe 20 or 30 other people. It didn’t disappoint. Iran has long been my only unvisited country I really want to see, but the visa situation isn’t the best and I don’t want to deal with having a “minder” from the government with me 24/7. My fascination, unfortunately, is only from afar.
     After the credits had rolled I was getting up from my seat when suddenly a girl burst on to the stage. It was the star of the film, Golshifteh Farahani, there to do a quick question and answer session with what was left of the audience. She was all nervous, excitable energy, a bubbly, energetic kid in black sneakers swaying back and forth.
     Afterward, when I went to say hello, she asked where I was from and what I was doing in Georgia and marveled at the unlikelihood of meeting an American this way. She was with her husband and impulsively she grabbed my camera and said we needed to take some selfies (or what did we call them last decade?) She gave me their email addresses and phone numbers and invited me to contact them if I made it to Iran.
     I didn’t realize it then, but the experience was almost akin to meeting Michael Jordan on a basketball court as a 9th grader. Golshifteh Farahani’s resume grew, steadily garnering international acclaim, then she became exposed to American audiences in the film, “Body of Lies” with Leonardo DiCaprio. (I’ve also seen Mr. DiCaprio in person at the Formosa Cafe in Los Angeles, pre-Titanic.) Then she really became exposed, posing topless for a French magazine, which made her an enfant terrible to the Iranian government and hastened her into exile in Paris where she still is today.
     So Iranians, here you go. I don’t know who will get into Iran first now, Golshifteh or me, but let’s have a reunion.

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