In a series of programs titled ‘Cinema vs. History’, aired by iFilm English TV, veteran Iranian historian Khosrow Motazed sheds light on the reality behind some anti-Iran films produced by foreign filmmakers.
In this part of the show, the historian talks about ‘The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam’ written and directed by Keyvan Mashayekh.
According to the historian, the director has no information about Iran’s history. He depicts Malekshah of Seljuq dynasty as young and inexperienced king who laughs with everybody. The director has not selected the names appropriately. For instance, he has picked the modern name Darya for a girl living in the 6th century.
He depicts Khayyam as a very young man without wearing hat while at that time wearing hat for scholars, poets, and high ranking individuals was essential. It was a part of the clothing system of the time.
Khayyam is an Iranian Mathematician, Astronomer, and poet. The picture that the film renders out of this great Iranian figure is totally in contrast with what has been written about him in history books.
The director uses less well-known Latin-American actors in the movie to spend less money. The bad dialect of the actors in pronouncing Persian sentences is considered as one of the weak points of the movie.
The shooting sets for the movie are in Samarkand and Bukhara in the central Asian country of Uzbekistan. In the final scene of the movie that Kamran comes back to Tehran, where the Iranian capital city is shown as a city full of dusty roads. The director deliberately depicts Tehran as an underdeveloped city and people walking barefoot.
The film was produced in 2005. ‘The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam’ tells the story of a teenage who is one of Khayyam’s grandchildren and becomes familiar with Khayyam through studying about him.
A plot of the film reads, “Kamran is a 12-year-old boy in the present day who discovers that his ancestor is the 11th-century mathematician, astronomer, and poet of Persia, Omar Khayyam. The story has been passed down in his family from one generation to another, and now it is his responsibility to keep the story alive for future generations. The film takes us from the modern day to the epic past where the relationship between Omar Khayyam, Hassan Sabbah (the original creator of the sect of Assassins) and their mutual love for a beautiful woman separate them from their eternal bond of friendship.”
The cast list of the movie includes Vanessa Redgrave, Moritz Bleibtreu, Rade Šerbedžija, Bruno Lastra, Christopher Simpson, Andranik Madadian, and David McColloch.