It’s a story deserving its own film: Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Reza Aslani’s Chess of the Wind had three public screenings, likely recognized as the remarkable blend of mood piece, thriller, and social study it is. But a revolution comes in and, contra those implications, bans it. It is lost for decades. Then Aslani’s children find the original negative—in a junk shop, hardly the domain of masterworks. Cue Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project, a Janus acquisition, and impending Criterion release.

We loved Chess of the Wind upon its premiere last year and are elated it’s opening in theaters this fall, starting October 29 at New York’s Film Forum. Thus there’s a trailer quoting our review, in which Glenn Heath Jr. said, “Chess of the Wind is a shining example of how familiar genres and tones can meld together to form something that feels brand new. It carries with it the violent urgency of impending change, but also the stagnate rot of class division, gender inequality, and corruption. Watching these two realities constantly collide within such tight confines becomes something to behold, even as the tides of revolution threaten to render their entire purpose moot. In this sense, Aslani’s film is even more ruthlessly bleak than most of its American and European genre forefathers.”

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