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Land of Dreams

A woman surround by sheets of paper in a desert landscape.
September 30, 2022 - 7:30 pm
directors Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, actors Robin Bartlett and Christopher McDonald, composer Michael Brook.

Land of Dreams

U.S., 2021

In the near future, the U.S. Census Bureau collects the dreams of Americans as part of its official demographic survey and when Simin (Sheila Vand), an Iranian immigrant with the Bureau, displays a knack for earning her subjects’ trust, she’s given a special assignment. With Matt Dillon playing her guide and bodyguard, Simin journeys across the American West and deep into the American subconscious. The first English-language film by internationally acclaimed visual artist Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams is also, in her own words, one of her most personal works. A visual artist herself, Simin photographs her interviewees and later performs as them for an art project that echoes Neshat’s own explorations of diasporic identity. Working with Shoja Azari, who co-directed and co-wrote the screenplay with frequent Luis Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Belle de Jour), Neshat draws out the surreality of the American landscape as she explores the contrasts and contradictions of her adopted home through visually arresting tableaux.

DCP, color, in Persian and English with English subtitles, 113 min. Director: Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari. Screenwriters: Jean-Claude Carrière, Shoja Azari. With: Sheila Vand, Matt Dillon, William Moseley, Isabella Rossellini.