Veteran Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh passes away
The resistance figure, artist, thinker and journalist has bid the world farewell.
Veteran Iranian journalist, TV producer, show host, and documentary filmmaker, Nader Talebzadeh, has passed away in Tehran at the age of 69, Friday evening, due to cardiac arrest.
The filmmaker was hospitalized in late November for cardiac malfunction and blood clotting, whereafter in January he was admitted into the ICU unit of the hospital as his case worsened.
Talebzadeh is known for his distinctive sharpness in cinema and film writing, directing many award-winning documentaries and movies. In 2007, he produced a feature-length movie, The Messiah, which took many accolades.
He lived and documented the Iran-Iraq war, and documented the Balkan wars in the 90s.
In 2019, the US State Department sanctioned Talebzadeh and his wife, Zeinab Mehanna, for establishing the New Horizons Conferences, a yearly cultural event that binds non-Muslim and non-Iranian thinkers at the annual event that sheds light on US and Israeli hegemonic policies and war crimes.
In an interview, Talebzadeh revealed he had survived "biological terrorism." In the Arbaeen gathering of 2016, his suitcase was confiscated by armed men in Najaf and sent back to him in Karbala a few days later. After handling the suitcase, he began to experience asthma and insomnia.
Talebzadeh was a believer that religious films enable more acceptance of Islam, reducing intolerance and accusations of terrorism towards the religion. The Messiah exhibited the life and principles of Prophet Isa - Jesus Christ - from an Islamic perspective, taking narrative and cinematic elements from the Quran and from the Bible.
Talibzadeh was born in 1954 in Tehran. He moved to the United States at the age of 16 and lived there for 10 years. He received his BA in English Literature from Randolph-Macon College, and his MA in Television Directing from Columbia University.
While he was studying in the US, the Iranian political atmosphere was changing. Talebzadeh returned to Iran in 1978 post-revolt, and obtained a license from the English-language Tehran Times newspaper. Then, he began working in Iranian television in 1981, from which his career launched.
Director Shadi Zidan, one of Talebzadeh's students, spoke to Al Mayadeen Net about his "humility and great dedication to work." Zidan touched on Talebzadeh's qualities, and said that he was careful not to withhold information from others.
"He always said that the zakat (almsgiving) of knowledge is teaching others, and I was greatly influenced by him, so I began to pass on any information I knew to my students."
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi offered his condolences on the demise of the “revolutionary and cultured” filmmaker in a message on Sunday.
“The death of the revolutionary and cultured artist, the influential figure of the cultural front of the Islamic Revolution, the late Nader Talebzadeh, hurt the hearts of the people of culture and art,” Raisi said.
“I offer my condolences on the death of this artist and cultural activist of the Revolutionary Front to his esteemed family, the artistic community, and his students.”
The departure of Nader Talibzadeh sparked a wave of sadness and reactions on social media, some of whom mentioned his talks about the resistance, and his talk about southern Lebanon, Palestine, and the resistance in the world.