Early Years and Family History: Dariush Mehrjui was born into a middle-class family in Tehran. His father, Haj Ali Reza Mehrjui, was a merchant, which provided a stable environment for Dariush’s early years. His interest in films started at a young age, influenced by the cultural and intellectual environment of his family.

Education and Early Hardships: Mehrjui attended Alborz High School in Tehran and later moved to the United States to study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). There, he initially majored in Philosophy before switching to Cinema. This period was marked by financial hardships, as he had to work various jobs to support his education. His exposure to Western philosophy and cinema during his UCLA years deeply influenced his artistic vision.

Career Timeline and Achievements:

  • 1960s: Beginnings and Breakthrough
    • 1966: Mehrjui made his directorial debut with the film “Diamond 33,” a James Bond spoof, which did not achieve significant success.
    • 1969: He gained international acclaim with “The Cow” (“Gaav”), a film that is considered a landmark in Iranian cinema. The film was banned in Iran but won the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival and was later instrumental in sparking the Iranian New Wave movement.
  • 1970s: Establishing a Voice
    • 1973: Directed “Mr. Naive” (“Agha-ye Haloo”), a social satire that further established his reputation.
    • 1976: Released “The Cycle” (“Dayereh-ye Mina”), a critical examination of corruption in Iran’s medical system. The film faced censorship issues but was eventually released and received critical acclaim.
  • 1980s: Political Turmoil and Exile
    • Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Mehrjui faced censorship and political pressures. Many of his projects were either banned or heavily edited.
    • 1987: Directed “Hamoun,” which became a cultural phenomenon in Iran and is often considered one of the greatest Iranian films. The film delves into existential and philosophical themes, reflecting Mehrjui’s academic background.
  • 1990s: Continued Success and Recognition
    • 1992: Directed “Sara,” an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” which won awards at various international film festivals.
    • 1995: Released “Pari,” based on J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey.” The film faced legal challenges due to Salinger’s strict copyright policies but remains a significant work in Mehrjui’s filmography.

Ups and Downs: Dariush Mehrjui’s career has been marked by both critical acclaim and political challenges. His films often faced censorship in Iran, limiting their domestic release but gaining international recognition. Despite these obstacles, Mehrjui has remained a resilient and influential figure in the world of cinema.

Real Name: Dariush Mehrjui

Date of Birth: December 8, 1939

Birth Place: Tehran, Iran

Residence: Tehran, Iran

Profession: Film Director, Screenwriter, Producer

Nationality: Iranian

Religion: Secular; known for his philosophical and existential themes, not strictly adhering to any particular religious ideology.

Partner: Vahideh Mohammadifar (second wife)

Father: Haj Ali Reza Mehrjui, a merchant

Mother: Fatemeh Mehrjui

Horoscope: Sagittarius

Age: 84 (as of 2024)