[By Shideh] We watched an amazing silent movie last night, produced and directed by Cooper, Schoedsack, and Harrison in 1924, named “Grass.” I highly recommend it as it is an invaluable record of history and tells us quite a bit about the culture and extreme hardships faced by nomads in Persia for survival. It is as if this documentary is not so much of present, but of an ancient past, an unchanging “forgotten” group of brave people. Since many believe that Arians migrated from east to west as nomadic tribes some 4000-5000 years ago, studying the culture of these remaining nomads might be a guide to a deeper understanding of the sometimes misunderstood behavior/desires of our nation as a whole.
Photo courtesy of IranChamber
“In 1924, neophyte film-makers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack hooked up with journalist and sometime spy Maguerite Harrison and set off to film and adventure. They found excitement, danger and unparalleled drama in the migration of the Bakhtiari tribe of Persia (now Iran). Twice a year, more than 50,000 people and half a million animals surmounted seemingly impossible obstacles to take their herds to pasture.
“The filmmakers captured unforgettable images of courage and determination as the Bakhtiari braved the raging and icy waters of the half-mile-wide Karun River. Cooper and Schoedsack almost froze when they filmed the breath-taking, almost unbelievable, sight of an endless river of men, women and children – their feet bare or wrapped in rags – winding up the side of the sheer, snow-covered rock face of the 15,000-foot-high Zardeh Kuh mountain.
“Although many documentary historians consider GRASS second only to NANOOK OF THE NORTH, few people have actually seen this legendary film…” Georgia Brown, Village Voice