Is it about ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and Captain Jack Sparrow’s adventure?
Not really! It’s something more than that for Persians in Diaspora, foreign students in particular.
During our visit to the United States, Dr Dorbayani and I were invited to have a visit from Mr. Ahmad Reza Baharloo’s little studio at his home where we were introduced to his first docu-drama movie, which was made in 1977. It was exciting to be among very few who could see that production in the US.
“The End of Childhood”, which was made at the American University in Washington DC is indeed a treasure; it is not only unique but also original, yet notably real.
A student’s understanding of American culture before arriving in the United States is often distorted by exposure to American movies and television.
“The End of Childhood” is about the unexpected realities of the American culture, their challenge to a foreign student’s identity and problems with which we must cope.
The movie deals with an Iranian student’s personal crisis in his encounter with American culture. His responses to the problems he faces are simple avoidance and pretense of action.
The end of the movie brings him to an end of innocence with his dilemma yet to be solved.
“Where attitude translates itself into destiny, ‘The End of Childhood’ makes the best sense of it.” said Dr Dorbayani, founder of WAALM – Persian Golden Lioness Awards®.
Ahmad Reza Baharloo, writer and director of this fascinating movie was born in a place called Darab, a small town with huge lands, huge farms, and many villages around it. His life before coming to the U.S is almost divided equally between three cities, Darab, Shiraz, and Tehran. So he feels the same affection for all the three of them.
He started elementary school in Darab and finished high school in Shiraz. He received a BA in Economics from 'Melli University' in Tehran. In September 13, 1973 his American journey started. In 1977 after receiving a Master degree in Film and Television, he made a feature film, called 'The End Of Childhood', about young Iranians coming to the U.S with dreams to fulfill. In Aug 6, 1978 after a short trip to the homeland, he left Darab, Shiraz, Tehran, and Iran for good. Knowing then, deep down inside that the wind of frenzy, and mass madness blowing there w