How It All Began
1 I generally used Photo Homayun, ran by the Shokrani family, whose son, Mo-
hammad, was my friend and the class jokester.
2 For more on my immediate family’s history, see Ahmad Naficy 1999/1378;
Majid Naficy 2006; Hamid Naficy 2001/1380; Nasrin Naficy and Mehdy
Naficy 2001/1380; Azar Nafisi 2008, 2003; Nahal Naficy 2009; and Okhovat
3 Saeb dissolved at the end of 1950s and soon begat the Jong-e Isfahan group
in the 1960s and 1970s, which published Jong-e Isfahan magazine. After the
revolution the group begat another literary group that published Zendehrud
magazine. For more on Isfahan’s literary circles, see Naser Motii, “Yad Av-
ari” (Shahrivar 1384/2005); Majid Naficy 2005, 114–17; Mansuri 2007a/1386;
Mansuri 2007b/1386; Golshiri 1991/1369; and Kalbasi 2003/1382.
4 My paternal uncle Ahmad, a few years younger than my dad, also went to
the movies in Isfahan at sixteen and eighteen (just before the Second World
War) accompanied by his uncles Yusof and Loqman. Both times he attended
open-air movie houses on Chaharbagh Avenue. The first time, he watched a
silent Richard Talmage movie during which a dilmaj translated the intertitles
for spectators, who were segregated by gender. He ends his diary entry about
this film viewing by commenting on the sensorial pleasures of spectatorship
in a “garden cinema”: “They had sprayed water on the [hot] ground and the
fragrance of Nyctaginaceae and petunias had penetrated everywhere.” I thank
Mohammad Reza Nafissi for letting me quote from his father’s unpublished
5 The usia films dealing with Iranian topics that I reviewed were For Your
Health (Bara-ye Salamati), Tuberculosis Is Curable (Bimari-ye Sel Alajpazir Ast,
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