Renowned Iranian director, storyteller, translator, photographer and lover, Ebrahim Golestan, died at the age of 101 on August 22 at his home in the United Kingdom, surrounded by his family.
Funeral arrangements for the luminary of Iranian cinema and Persian literature will be conducted privately, his family said.
Golestan earned acclaim for his multifaceted roles and innovative contributions to both Iranian cinema and literature, emerging as a pioneer of modern and progressive cinematic artistry within Iran.
In 1961, his film "A Fire" captured the prestigious prize at the Venice Short Film Festival, establishing his place as a creative force to be reckoned with.
The 1960s also saw the emergence of two seminal documentaries from Golestan's artistic arsenal: "Hills of Marlik" and "The Crown Jewels of Iran."
"Azer, the Last Month of Autumn," a collection of stories, and the narrative "Rooster" and "Secrets of the Genie Valley” are also treasured by devotees of Persian literature.
Among his achievements, Golestan served as the producer of the documentary film "Black House," directed by Forough Farrokhzad, a giant of modern Persian literature and a pioneer in Iranian film, who was killed in a car accident aged just 32.
In 2017 and half a century after Farrokhzad’s untimely death, Golestan, at last broke his silence on her passing, shedding light on the depth of their relationship.
“I rue all the years she isn’t here, of course, that’s obvious. We were very close, but I can’t measure how much I had feelings for her. How can I? In kilos? In metres?” he told the Guardian in 2017.
“Shahi [Golestan’s nickname], you’re the dearest thing I have in life. You’re the only one I can love … Shahi, I love you and I love you to an extent that I am terrified what to do if you disappeared suddenly. I’ll become like an empty well," Farrokhzad wrote in one of her letters to him, believed to have been penned a year before her death while she was visiting London.
Golestan had offered the young Farrokhzad a job manning phones at his office, which was shared by 40 filmmakers and photographers.
In 2017, he said that it took several months for their connection to evolve, even though Golestan himself was married at the time.
Farrokhzad, who herself married at the age of 16, had parted ways with her husband after only four years.
Golestan said that his feelings for the young writer were as profound as his feelings for his wife – a sentiment of which his wife was aware.
He had likened the scenario to that of having four children, explaining that just as a parent can cherish all their children despite their unique qualities, one can have emotions for multiple individuals simultaneously.
"You can have feelings for them [and] you have feelings for two people," he said.
Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Golestan embarked on a life-altering journey, relocating from Iran to the United Kingdom.
Tragedy later struck with the loss of his son, Kaveh Golestan, a photographer and documentarian. Kaveh died in April 2003, due to a mine explosion.
He had been capturing footage with a BBC news team on the frontlines of the conflict in the border town of Kufri, situated 130 km from Kirkuk, Iraq.
Lili Golestan, Ebrahim Golestan’s second child, has also become an artist in her own right. She is a translator and writer, and manager of the Golestan Gallery in Iran.