Drama. By Kathleen Cahill.
Cast: 2m., 2w. The 13th-century Persian poet, Rumi, invites us to ride with him on a Persian carpet of history. He introduces us to two American diplomats, Ann and Mike, stationed in Iran in 1979, just as the mullahs under Ayatollah Khomeini are coming to power and the Iranian Revolution is gaining strength. They are oblivious to the terror that awaits them when they are taken hostage by student revolutionaries and begin a trial of endurance that lasts 444 days. In the last days of Ann's captivity, she becomes involved in a grand debate with one of her captors—Shirin, a beautiful student and zealous supporter of the revolution. In taut dialogue between the American captive and her Iranian captor, they battle over each other's "truths." Woven throughout, Rumi uses poetry as the vehicle to take us back and forth through time, political history and the richness of Persian culture. We go forward to the year 2009 to New York's Columbia University, where a fashionable Iranian, Azadeh, introduces herself to an American photojournalist, Emily, neither of them aware that their mothers met 30 years ago in a prison in Teheran. Azadeh is Shirin's daughter, in exile in America after her blog of the 2009 Green Movement put her life in danger. Emily has come to Columbia to photograph visiting Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who was once the student revolutionary who escorted her mother, Ann, out of prison. We learn what became of their parents and how the optimism and zeal of the Iranian Revolution were replaced with oppression, bitterness and cynicism. Flexible set. Approximate running time: 2 hours.