Noted Iranian filmmaker makes first US visit


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A noted Iranian filmmaker is visiting the U.S. for the first time to discuss his work.

Kamran Shirdel's (KAM-ran SHER-dels) films have been censored, banned and celebrated for documenting hidden parts of Iranian society — the plight of Tehran's prostitutes, the desperation of female prisoners, and the reality behind false heroes.

The 75-year-old Shirdel began filming working-class Iranians in the 1960s. Early documentaries established him as an uncompromising artist — and got him fired from the Shah's Ministry of Culture.

Shirdel spoke to The Associated Press at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, which invited him to America and sponsored the trip. He's also scheduled to talk at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and at Columbia University in New York.

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