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Source: AP News

Oct 15, 2023

Noted Iranian film director and his wife found stabbed to death in their home, state media report

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Noted Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui and his wife were stabbed to death in their home by an unknown assailant, state media reported Sunday.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Hossein Fazeli, a judiciary official, as saying that Mehrjui and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadifar, were discovered dead with knife wounds in their necks.

Fazeli said the director’s daughter, Mona Mehrjui, found the bodies when she went to visit her father Saturday night at the home in a suburb about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of the capital, Tehran.

The report said authorities were investigating and gave no speculation on a motive, though the wife had complained about a knife threat on social media in recent weeks.

Mehrjui , 83, was known as cofounder of Iran’s film new wave in the early 1970s that mainly focused on realism.

He received many awards, including a Silver Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival in 1998 and a Golden Seashell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 1993.

Mehrjui studied in the cinema program at the University of California, Los Angeles in the early 1960s.

In an interview published on Sunday by the newspaper Etemad, the filmmaker’s wife said that she had been threatened and their home had been burgled.

“The investigation revealed that no complaints had been filed regarding the illegal entry into the Mehrjui’s family villa and the theft of their belongings,” said Fazeli-Harikandi.

Dariush Mehrjui’s most notable films, alongside “The Cow,” included “Mr Gullible” (1970), “The Cycle” (1977), “The Tenants” (1987), “Hamoun” (1990), “Sara” (1993), “Pari” (1995) and “Leila” (1997).

The films were all screened at the Forum des Images in Paris, during a tribute attended by Mehrjui.

Between 1980 and 1985, the filmmaker lived in France where he worked on the documentary “Journey to the Land of Rimbaud” (1983).

On returning to Iran, he triumphed at the box office with “The Tenants.”

In 1990, he directed “Hamoun,” a dark comedy showing 24 hours in the life of an intellectual tormented by his divorce and his intellectual anxieties in an Iran overwhelmed by the technology companies Sony and Toshiba.

Throughout the 1990s, Mehrjui also depicted the lives of women in “Sara,” “Pari” and “Leila,” a melodrama about an infertile woman who encourages her husband to marry a second woman.

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