Bam

17 min.

On Dec. 26th 2003 I was in Los Angeles with my family when Bam earthquake happened. I thought of a sunset I had seen, the sunrise I had missed, and how I had promised the guard at the citadel to return in the near future. “You people from big cities, you will forget, you will be too busy to remember to come back. His words were almost true. I never did go back.I owed it to him and the citadel. I began filming on Norooz, the Iranian New Year, three months after the earthquake. I met his daughter who by chance served me tea in the office of Cultural Heritage. She told me her father had died in the earthquake at Arg-Bam. He and many others died waiting for the sunrise that early morning. I listened to the stories from the old guard’s daughter Mahshid and other survivors still full of memories and tears for those they had lost.

Sadly, Bam has never recovered. But my work made a difference. Being in the film changed Mahshid’s life and gave her more status at work which turned into a higher salary and more respect. And making it changed mine. As the guard said, some place deep down, something touches you in Bam – like the whisper of the wind.