Nomads Carpet by Behrouz Afkhami is the first episode of Persian Carpet (2008) depicting Qashqai Nomads Carpet, Gabbeh in Iran. The movie begins with a quotation from the filmmaker,
Persian Carpet, a world of nuances, full of imagination…repeating trees, streams and blossoms…A utopia taken from Iranian spiritBehrouz Afkhami
Nomads Carpet episode begins with the group dancing of Qashqai Nomad in Zagros Mountains where women in multi-color hand-made dresses moving up and down colorful handkerchief.
With the soft bell’s tinkle, a female voice-over narrator (Marjan Shirmohammadi) begins telling the story of Nomads Carpet known as Gabbeh by introducing the biggest nomads carpet producer and exporter in Iran: Gholamreza Zollanvari. A self-made businessman who has been working in Iran carpet for nearly 60 years. The narrator tells us in brief how his tough journey to Kamfiruz, in Shiraz, in his childhood serves as a starting point for his long, successful rewarding career. The camera shows him getting out of SUV car and his greeting with the locals. While he was offering a cup of tea sitting in the black nomadic tent, the narrator recounts his life-changing tale,
He was sent to bring two pieces of Persian rugs in freezing winter of Kamfiruz by order of his father. But, the bitter snow of engulfed him for almost a week.
Gholamreza Zollanvari is one of the richest businessman in Iran carpet industry. He is famous for introducing and distributing Gabbeh to the world. Starting with small business, he has now developed into a carpet tycoon, promoting nomad carpet and supporting and improving local economies of Qashqai Tribes in Iran.
Carpet Weaving and Economics
The voice over narrator continues that over 30,000 people are now weaving carpet for him and thousands are working in other sections of carpet industry such as Cotton spinning, Dye house, margining etc. The camera, then, shows the close-up of female carpet weavers exposed on the carpet looms they are working on, as the Persian folklore music is playing on. Next, it focuses on male workers in the post-weaving procedure.
The camera cuts into a pretty large carpet shop, full of piles of carpets overlapping each other. In the series of right and left pans showing heaps of carpet, the narrator complains about the fake Chinese, Pakistani, and Indian carpet in international bazaar.
With emergence of unauthentic carpet makes the struggle harder for authentic nomad carpet sellers in world market. The fake carpet might be cheaper, but the vivifying childlike spirit of nomads generates diversity in colors and creativity in patterns. Despite all the problems, Nomads carpet is still the most popular carpets in the world. The film ends with series of camera’s zoom outing different Persian carpet patterns.
In the First Carpet episode of Persian Carpet (2008), Behrouz Afkhami focuses on the nomads carpet and its current marketing situation. In fact, he depicts the origin and the procedure of weaving carpet within the Qashqai Nomads, but never deals with the elements featuring a typical nomad carpet. His perspective, I think, is simple and cursory when it comes to one of the nomadic handicrafts which, according to his claim, embodies “a world of nuances” and “Iranian spirit”.