Unlike Iranian film giants Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi is little known outside Iran and the European film-festival circuit. But that’s a huge loss to the movie world, as every single one of his works are unforgettable animals, leaving permanent claw marks on the memory.

His last work, “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” (2009) won the special jury prize at the Cannes film festival and alerted the world to the plight of young Iranian artists and musicians trying to get out of the country. Ghobadi had always been in a dicey political position because of his Kurdish background, but “Persian Cats” put Ghobadi’s name right on top of the Iranian government’s blacklist. He was chased out by the military police and now lives and works in Turkey.

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