Ebrahim Golestan: "The Shah's Coronation Made Me Wanna Vomit" (BBC)


Ebrahim Golestan: "The Shah's Coronation Made Me Wanna Vomit" (BBC)
by Darius Kadivar

Interviewed in a luxurious setting of a British mansion ( his Home ?), Filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan admits to BBC Persian's Massoud Behnoud that watching the Shah's Coronation on TV back in 1967 made him to literally "Vomit". Well I guess his own brother Shahrokh is to blame for he was in charge of filming it as well as the Persepolis celebrations of October 1971 honoring 25 centuries of Iranian Monarchy.

I really don't know how to qualify this interview ? ...

Personally I got a similar Nausea listening to some of Golestan's responses ( ranging from belittiling the Shahnameh calling Ferdowsi a Racist Genocidal Poet to defending Ahmadinejad's Nucleare Stance ) as he did watching his brother's film on the Shah's Coronation ...

Golestan is certainly a man of quality ( His son Kaveh was killed while filming the War in IRaq during the American led invasion) as much as the journalist Massoud Behnoud ( albeit quite Pro - Reform and Opposed to Regime Change) and a great filmmaker in his time but I cannot help but feel that this interview is nothing but that of a sycophantic journalist towards a Namak Nashnas, self indulgent, self pompous , and totally embittered man that makes me want to call back the Character Otto ( Kevin Kline) from the movie A Fish Called Wanda to the Rescue and demand his unreserved apology ...

I'd like to think that one should only have to blame some of Golestan's arrogant comments on his old age than anything else ...

I guess ageing doesn't make one wiser for that matter ... Even for a Gauche Caviar Intellectual enjoying the comfortable and luxurious settings of an English Mansion he calls home ...

In anycase You be the Judge ... 

Recommended Reading:

Ebrahim Golestan-Treasure of Pre-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa

Recommended Watchings:

NAMAK-NASHNAS NOT: Jamshid (Jimmy) Delshad Greets Shahbanou Farah

Eminent Persians: the Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979  a Conference by Abbas Milani Library of Congress

Ebrahim Golestan interviewed by Massoud Behnoud (BBC Persian) 

Fereydoun Farrokhzad ( brother of Forough) speaks about an Artists Intellectual Responsability and his Political activism:

Shah and Shahbanou of Iran's coronation ( Photo Tribute):

A Visual Tribute To The Pahlavi Dynasty (1925-1979):

A Beautiful Poem by Ferdosi (Whom Golestan compares to a Racist Genocidal poet), Word by Word talking about the present situation in Iran. Amazing...


Ebrahim Golestan Bio:

Ebrahim Golestan has been a pioneer in filmmaking and literature for more than half a century, with far-reaching influence on generations of Iranians in various fields of art. He has lived in Sussex, United Kingdom, since 1975. He is the father of Iranian photojournalist Kaveh Golestan, and Lili Golestan,translator and owner and artistic director of the Golestan Gallery in Tehran, Iran. His grandson, Mani Haghighi, is also a film director. His younger brother is filmmaker/Journalist Shahrokh Golestan who was in charge of filmming the Coronation Ceremonies of 1967 as well as the Persepolis Celebrations of 1971. 


Yek atash (1961)

Moj, marjan, khara (1962)

Khesht va Ayeneh (1965, aka Brick and Mirror)

Asrar ganj dareheye jenni (1974, aka The Ghost Valley's Treasure Mysteries)

Massoud Behnoud Bio: 

Massoud Behnoud, is a prominent Iranian journalist, historian and writer, was born on July 27, 1947 in Tehran. He started his work as a journalist in 1964. During his long career he worked as an investigating journalist for different newspapers. He founded more than 20 newspapers and magazines, none of them are currently in publication.

Masoud Behnoud currently lives in the UK working as a freelance journalist for a number of media organisations, mainly BBC Persian Service, for which he has worked for the past fourteen years. His debut in the west was the launch of ‘Khanoum’, by Pegasus Elliott McKenzie in November 2008. More Here

He has an English Weblog Here

Related Blogs:

Islamic Republic's Representative invited at UK's Royal Wedding

CONSTITUTIONALIST FORUM: Daryoush Homayoun Political and Journalistic life Honored in Germany 


more from Darius Kadivar
Arash Kamangir

He vomitted because he is not a patriot

by Arash Kamangir on

Mr. golestan vomitted because he is not a patriot. He has lived many years in England and he knows that english people would not say anything bad about their queen because they are patrriots and love their country.


I Loved The Coronation Video, Thankyou DK

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

My Hero's are the best in the world.  If there is a God, I Thank God For Them.


Dk jaan, nice try ;)

by Mehrban on


Darius Kadivar

Mehrban jan that's precisely what I meant by Your Freudian Slip

by Darius Kadivar on

Subconsciently You are a Monarchist ... 

Shahbanou in Green Dress (1960’s)


You just don't know it yet ... 





Freudian slip - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


My dress was green way before the Green movement :)

by Mehrban on

If you care to know, there is also red and white in the avatar.  All the best to you dear DK.

Darius Kadivar

Mehrban Jaan OK so what does that say about the People ?

by Darius Kadivar on

IRI Cover Girl : Iranians gone nuts


NAMAK-NASHNAS NOT: Jamshid (Jimmy) Delshad Greets Shahbanou Farah

A Nation and generation that claims hypcoritically to take pride in their glorious pre islamic Past and heritage or it's the Spirit of Chivalry:

Video Depiction of Sassanid Knight, Featuring Model Leila Milani from "Deal or No Deal"


or of Ferdowsi ( whome Golestan dismisses so arrogantly ) which they hail including in the Diaspora's Pop Art:

Rostam :The Dark Ages by DK

Rostam Strikes Back by DK

Rostam Super Hero: Popularizing A Persian Myth... by DK

Only to deliver the land of Cyrus the Great to this Bunch:

Like it Did by Betraying King and Country with it's last Aechemenid King :

To the degree of Rejecting their very own identity including the National Emblem on their Flag:

SYMBOL OF PERSIA: Xerxes Presents a Lion Cub to Queen Esther in "Esther and the King"

To replace it with an Alien ARAB SICKLE:

And Parade With it Too during soccer Matches

while claiming that the regime which is oppressing them today should be reformed ...

FINALLY GETTING IT RIGHT: Shirin Ebadi say's "I Don't believe in an Islamic Declaration of Human Rights"

KNIGHTHOOD: Order of the Garter bestowed upon Mohsen Kadivar For Giving me a Bad Name ;0(

For ultimately if this kind of nauseating mindset displayed by Golestan and his likeminds should also be one that is to be shared by our fellow compatriots at large then I'm afraid as a nation we don't deserve to exist !

SEPARATIST TEMPTATIONS: Don't Let It Fool You ... Treason Exists ...

Sorry But Ebrahim Golestan's Crocodile Tears are Not Convincing at all and actually amount to insulting any genuine Iranian patriot's intelligence.

So he can keep his crocodile Tears to himself !
and Shuv his Artwork Up his own tight arse for what it is worth for it won't last the test of time ...


Unlike this other Great man whose GENUINE ART is bound to still be around in a Thousand Years from now  ...

Words For Eternity ...

BEYOND WORDS: Group Reading of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh

And Beyond Frontiers ...

The Timeless Legend of Rostam and Sohrab a Tadjik Epic by DK

For as Azar Nafisi's favorite Canadian author said it best:

"A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that Faces Death" - Saul Bellow

Otherwise might as well Change the name Iran to Tadjikistan ... Cause definitively  they prove to be Far more Patriotic than our miserable nation of Schizophrenic Morons ....

LOST IN TRANSLATION: NIAC Welcomes Hamid Dabashi on Advisory Board



PS: In a future blog I hope to demonstrate why based on the same Constitutionalist arguments I believe that being a "Jomhurykhah" and "Iranian" is simply an oxymoron and that in 2011 claiming to be a "Jomhurykhah" and a "Democrat" is equally Un authentic !

I will even go further in my Constitutionalist demonstration as to show why the Anthem "Ey Iran" however patriotic cannot be the National Anthem of Iran unlike the Pahlavi Anthem or any other Royal Anthem for that matter.

So Stay Tuned for the Shocking Freudian Revelations on our Collective National Psyche in a near future ;0) ... Hee Hee ...

PSS 2: Notice that Audrey Hepburn's dress in the clip "Rain in Spain" in my previous thread was also "Green" as Your's:

How YOUR "Green" Color Was Chosen & By WHOME !

So indeed Great Mind's meet !  ;0) ...

SATIRE: I voted ;0)

Well Sort of ... ;0))

WOMEN KNOW YOUR LIMITS: The Shah's Post Mortem Apologies to Barbara Walters and Oriana Fallaci



Please accept my only answer

by Mehrban on

If you think a coronation ceremony should be lavish, okay, I would not argue one way or another in a vacuum.  

I say that the specific ceremonies in Iran seem to have hurt the monarchy in the public opinion.  So if their longevity was their purpose it did not served them well.   


Ps.  What actually comes across to me from Golastan's comments (here) is in fact a certain affection for the King (my reading of the text :).     

Darius Kadivar

Mehrban jaan you are avoiding the question ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

I want to have your opinion regardless of the indisputable fact that the former dynasty was toppled by a popular uprising !

So If you allow me to repeat the question :

Why should a monarch's coronation in a Land of Kings demand justification and if so not be lavish ? ...




DK jaan

by Mehrban on

I don't say they should or should not have had a lavish ceremony.   I think the result does not seem to have been advantageous to them.  


I caught the bait :) - Dk jaan, my generation is much younger than Golastan's. 

Darius Kadivar

Mehrban Jaan I did not say you did I just want to know why ?

by Darius Kadivar on

I am interested to know why you and your generation considers that a monarch's coronation in a Land of Kings demands justification or shouldn't be Lavish in the first place ...

Recommended Watching:

ROYAL FORUM: Behind the Scenes of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953


I think to debate about the policies of 30 years ago is precisely the central issue here and the purpose of this blog. You cannot understand the present or build the future particularly if you wish it to be democratic by merely dismissing the past !

THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY: How Would You Evaluate Iran's Democracy Index in 1953 ?

For unlike what Francis Fukuyama may think :

The End of History, Francis Fukuyama and the Last Man (1992)


History Matters !


DK jaan

by Mehrban on

You asked how one could qualify (interpret?) Golestan's comment.  So I wrote  my understanding of what he was saying in the video.   I am not here to defend Golestan, nor do I want to enter into protracted arguments about policies of more than thirty years ago.  

If you think that having a lavish coronation ceremony at the time in Iran was helpful to the monarchy, then let's just agree to disagree.   

Darius Kadivar

Mehrban Jaan Still waiting for your feedbacks ...;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

I am open to an openminded debate on this. 

Even if I don't respond today will be back on this thread if you wish.

Got to hurry to prepare for a Party for the Royal Wedding tomorrow. 

But Stay tuned ! 





Darius Kadivar

Besides I disagree with Abbas Milanis Infatuation with Modernity

by Darius Kadivar on

Who said modernity is systematically synonymous with progress ?


Stephen Fry On Why Monarchy Is Imperfect Yet Should Be Preserved


Just a look at America today and it makes me Wanna VOMIT : 

Stupid blonde thinks Europe is a country..



Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question


Darius Kadivar

Mehrban Jaan What Crocodile Tears for his lost Qajar Lands ?

by Darius Kadivar on

Didn't the White Revolution precisely aim at fulfilling that desire of social justice, equal opportunities, and modern development ?


But more importantly as Historian Mashadollah Adjoudani correctly said it ACHIEVED much of the aspirations of the Constitutional Revolution thanks to both Pahlavi Kings:


To name a few Pahlavi Dynasty's Accomplishments:



Safeguarding our territorial integrity and national security:


TOP GUN: Grumman F-14 promotional film 1970's Iran


Respected diplomatic Relations worldwide at the height of the Cold War:


NBC Television's Profile of Ardeshir Zahedi (Dec 1st, 1974)

DIPLOMATIC CORPS: Mehrangiz Dolatshahi First Woman Ambassador of Imperial Iran (1960)

Princess Ashraf Visits USSR's Leonid Brezhnev (1960's)




Industrial development:


pictory: Iran's Industrial Progress-Pahlavi Era Promotional Film (1970's)


Women's Rights and social and political participation:


pictory: Promotional Film on Women during Pahlavi Era (1970's)

 Women for All Seasons : Farokhroo Pārsā (1922-1980)

Women's Day: Mahnaz Afkhami Pioneer Feminist (1975)



Women's Day: First Women to Attend Tehran University (1940's/1950's)



Mahnaz Afkhami International Women's Conference in Mexico City (1975)

That in itself was enough to justify the Shah's belated coronation by 1967 some 26 years after taking oath as King upon his father's forced abdication and at the Age of 47 when his hair was already growing Grey ... 

But since when was A King's Crown  bargainable ? Did Golestan think that simply because his name was  similar to that of one of the Shah's Palaces, it entitled him to sit on the Shah's laps on Peacock Throne and sip Tea ? Or get to touch the jewels firsthand and play ping pong in the palace grounds with his eminent brother who filmed the ceremonies and was paid handsomely for his creative efforts ? ...


Which Monarchy including the most modern and democratic ones in the World allow such familiarity ?  


How Truly Democratic And Stable Is The British Monarchy?

ahosseini & Simorgh5555: What is it your don't Understand ? ;0)


That Golestan misunderstood and clearly still misunderstands the basic principles of the Royal Institutions only underlines his own disproportional Pompous concern with his own Self Importance ...


Explaining the Concept of a Constitutional Monarchy to a Staunch Republican


Now if his understanding was that the Shah should have Renounced the Crown and established a communist presidential system ... Or simply Step Down ... Well Sorry but Once you accept a given system of government, hence the Monarchy such trivial talk in Public amounts simply to Treason !


In a fully democratic and accountable Constitutional Monarchy ( which I advocate for tomorrows Iran) no one can be put to jail for expressing such thoughts but that does not mean that insulting the Royal Family or disrupting Royal events: Coronations, weddings, Opening of Parliament etc would be tolerated ...


Even in Great Britain if someone shoots a fire cracker at the Queen during the Trooping of Colors as was the case in the mid 1980's the fellow who did that was condemned to 5 years of Prison under the Treason Act:


1981 - Trooping the Colour - Queen Shot At ( Watch VIDEO)



BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | What are the laws on treason?




Treason Act 1351

In Iran given the Absolute nature of the monarchy under the Pahlavis (as under all their predecessors regardless of which dynasty was in power) You would be executed:


Khosro Golsorkhi


And Yet the Shah often pardoned anyone who tried to kill him personally:


HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: Shah of Iran wounded after Assassination Attempt (1949)


including a former communist who became head of Iran's radio and Television subsequently after demanding the Shah's pardon. The Fellow was executed ironically after the Revolution by the Revolutionary court as an "enemy of god".


Golesorkhi never asked for pardon and left the Shah with no other alternative but to punish him for his attempt to kidnap the Royal family. Was that too harsh a punishment ? According to what we value in terms of Human Rights and Universal values as we see them respected in Western Democracies, Yes definitively carrying out such a sentence was harsh. But this was the type of stubborn behavior displayed by the enemies of the monarchy that made it difficult to ever establish a viable democratic constitutional Monarchy as in other European countries. Why because as a nation our political elite, intelligentsia and  society at large were always revolting and questioning central government. 

Having a democratic society is not something that can be done overnight. Do you think Great Britain became a democracy just with a King or Queen who decreed with a Magic Sceptre : "Fellows we are a democracy now go and have fun, do what you want" ... ?

Of course not. The Parliamentary system in Great Britain took root ONLY after a Restoration of the Monarchy precisely after a Religious Rule under Cromwell, and even then it took some time to actually achieve genuine democracy and human rights.

And a look at the situation today in the Middle East and North Africa shows how difficult it is to achieve democracy regardless of whether you live under a Monarchy Like :




Morocco's King Mohammed VI pledges constitutional reform

ROYAL FORUM: Morocco's Steady Path Towards Democracy

Or if you live under a Republic like:




Tunisia could benefit from bitter lessons of Iran’s clumsy '79 revolution

Or Egypt:

SATIRE: Egypt's "Papyrus Revolution"

Or Cruel Libya:

Barack Jaan So was it "Yes We Can" Or Was It Just "Hot Air"?

PRECISION DRILLING: Allied Military Operations in Libya in Progress ...



So it is Not always because a given country has a given system of government, that explains why you don't necessarily have a perfect democracy.

Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi meets Diaspora journalists and activists in 1990 in Portland Oregon:




But in a Monarchy whether you like it The King and Queen are the living embodiment of National Unity. That Mr. Golestan did not like this system of government ( his communist past explains why ) Yet decided to go an live in another Monarchy elsewhere instead of some East European "Democracy" or third world country with a regime fit with his own communist ideals proves how much he himself is in contradiction with the opinions he expressed at the time. 

Does that mean that the Shah was perfect or that the Monarchy is a better system than a Secular Republic ? No But it is no less legitimate:


pictory: Bakhtiar Denounces Bazargan's Provisionary Government in exile(1979) (Video Footage)


But the Only front where the Shah can be fairly criticized is that he did not deliver enough on the Political Front:


Despite Shy attempts even in the aftermath of the crisis of 1953:


pictory: Political Pluralism and Freedom of Press in Pahlavi Iran (1961)


But then We know today why the likes of Ebrahim Golestan and his stubborn immature like minds made Iran Ungovernable other than, if not an Iron fist, at least with an authocratic one :



THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY: How Would You Evaluate Iran's Democracy Index in 1953 ?


Isn't Calling for the Head of State's Death usually called "Treason"?

pictory: Soviet Propaganda Film - Iran, Tabriz 1945-46


Because these ANN TELLECTUALS systematically got their PRIORITIES WRONG !


And their immature behavior doomed the nation at large:


Footage of the 1979 referendum of the Islamic Republic of Iran    
    Mehdi Bazargan and the controversial legacy of Iran's Islamic intellectual movement



And this is the generation and intelligentsia which were the "crème de la crème" of the Pahlavi Era. No Wonder the Shah couldn't trust these people.


As such even those who claim that Iran became a dictatorship because the Shah created the Rastakhiz Party are also misleading people on the reality of the Shah's reign and his intentions. Given that Iran according to the same people was no more a democracy after the 1953 so called Coup ... So how could have Iran become a Dictatorship after the establishment of the Rastakhiz Party in 1974/75 ? 

Are we to conclude that Iran was a democracy between 1953 and 1977 ? ...


Mostafa Tajzadeh:Former deputy Interior Minister's speech a month before June 2009 elections ( Arrested Since):



So you see When it comes to history the minimum is to Get Your Facts Straight and make coherent critics. Something this fellow clearly doesn't.



But then I guess in the same way Money can't buy some people good taste:


DIPLOMATIC CORPS: IRI's New UK Ambassador and Wife On Way to Buckingham Palace


It can't always buy them Intelligence either ...


ZADIG & VOLTAIRE: French Minister's Blunder on Voltaire's Persian Tale


Mr. Golestan may have been a great filmmaker but he reminds me of Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme ( particularly in his understanding of

Nuclear technology) trying to learn how to speak in Prose only because he likes the sound words make in his mouth but ignores their real significance ...

Or Henry Higgins thinking that putting marbles in one's mouth to help them speak will compensate for their lack of education ...


Except that the real guy who needs to educate himself is Golesten himself ...


But then I guess When it Comes to ANN TELECTUALS Mr. Golestan is not alone ...



COLUMBIA PRESENTS: Academic Excellence With Hamid Dabashi & Sadri Bros 



LOST IN TRANSLATION: NIAC Welcomes Hamid Dabashi on Advisory Board 


My Humble Opinion,





Wait a minute guys

by Mehrban on

Golestan spoke of how Shah was the one who understood what was said at the end of his (Golestan's) film.  Golestan even cried (here) in how tragic it was that the King could not translate his understanding and desire to better the lives of Iranians into reality.

I have to say that the over the top extravagance of the coronation ceremonies in an atmosphere where you are trying to implement Modernity was at best counter productive.   To vomit or not depends on one's nervous system.

You could also say that he wanted to vomited because he saw how they were committing political suicide and was saddened (horrified maybe) by it. 


Ce type est abject !

by Shemirani on

This guys vomited a Revolution for us , and we have to clean their mess  !!! everyday people are  tortured killed, hang, raped...this events don't make him vomit ?????!!!!!!!!

 Great coronation which gave a great image of Iran around the globe and was a great marketing investment !!! he can't tolerate it its too much for him !!! akhey nazy so sensitive he is !!!

 Why is he living in uk ?!!! do you think he allows himself to talk like this  to his british friends .....we are so tired of your hypocrisy !

ye Mosht Kholvaz e Bi ensaf bi rahm bi hamechiz !!!

Vous n'êtes pas un artiste Mr Golestan , juste un grand hypocrite doublé d'un égoiste mais dénoué de bon sens ou de valeurs ! un nobody !

Anonymous Observer

Shah should have vomited on him

by Anonymous Observer on

Psuedo-ANtellectual leftist wannabe! 


Good Work,

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

Many Iranians need the help.

You are generous with your information, which will help enlighten many.