Hajji Washington

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Hajji Washington
Directed by Ali Hatami
Produced by Ali Hatami
Written by Ali Hatami
Starring Ezzatolah Entezami
Richard Harrison
Mario Diano
Mehri Vadadian
Esmail Mohammadi
Music by Mohammad Reza Lotfi
Cinematography Mehrdad Fakhimi
Edited by Musa Afshar
Release date
Completed 1982
Released 1998
Running time
98 min.
Country Iran
Language Persian

Hajji Washington (Persian: حاجی واشنگتن‎) is an Iranian comedy/drama film directed by Ali Hatami. The film is a fictionalized account of Iran's first ambassador to the United States, Haji Washington. Filmed in Italy (filling in for Washington, D.C.) and Ghazali Cinematic Mini-City in 1982, Haji Washington was not publicly screened in Iran until 1998.[1][not in citation given] The film's music is by the late Persian classical musician Mohammad Reza Lotfi.[2]

Plot[edit]

A fictionalized account of the first Iranian ambassador in the United States, Hajji Hossein-Gholi Noori, a loyal Qajar statesman who goes to Washington to found the embassy. After meeting with President Grover Cleveland, Haji proudly rents a mansion and hires several servants and staff, however there are no Iranians in Washington and the embassy does not have any visitors.[3][not in citation given] Haunted by nostalgia for home and his beloved daughter, Haji becomes plagued by nightmares. In his reports to the King, he writes exaggerated narrations of his activities using grandiose ornamented language. Funds dwindle and the embassy begins to disintegrate; the staff leaves and Haji’s dialogue with the King slowly declines into a personal monologue. One night president Cleveland shows up in the embassy. An excited Haji entertains his guest single-handedly while dreaming of writing another grandiose letter to the King of Persia only to learn that his guest is no longer president of United States, but a simple farmer who wants to learn how to grow pistachios. Not long after, a Native American enters the embassy to seek asylum and a friendship grows despite their inability to communicate. Haji refuses to handover the refugee and is removed from his post. Haji, now in the state of madness and absolute silence, boards the boat to return home.[4][5]

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