Iran: Seven Faces of a Civilization

Iran: Seven Faces of a Civilization

2007, History  -   59 Comments
Ratings: 7.84/10 from 55 users.

Iran: Seven Faces of a CivilizationDrawing on historical and archaeological evidence, this fascinating documentary by Dr. Farzin Rezaeian reconstructs 7,000 years of Iranian history.

The film's advanced animation techniques bring ancient wonders to life, giving an unprecedented look at Iran's historical and cultural achievements.

Rezaeian has reconstructed the major monuments from seven key periods in Iranian history, bringing to life the settings in which Iranian civilization developed and the context through which the greatest figures of Iranian history, from Cyrus the Great (the Achaemenid Emperor) to Shah Abbas (the Safavid King), can be understood Farzin Rezaeian is an award-winning documentary and educational film producer and director.

For the past twenty years, he has researched and written for many educational and documentary films that he has produced or directed at Sunrise Film Productions.

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59 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Roger Peterson

    Unfortunately this proved to be more of subtle propaganda film promoting the Islamic regime of Iran rather than depicting facts. The start is great, depiction of Cyrus as a tolerant leader, who allowed religious freedom, who wrote the first human rights, how the Persian saves the Jews twice from persecution and extinction. but when they started describing the arrival of Islam to Iran as the golden age (the fourth face) I quickly understood that this is a propaganda film. I kind of was hinted of it before to, because they kept calling Israel Palestine.

    What the documentary fails to mention is that generally speaking the so called Islam that the invaders introduced by force brought destruction to Iran. The prophet Mohammed is a great man with a beautiful vision, but what his mainstream followers did after Mohammed left this world is nothing but a disgraceful deviation. We find the same thing in other religions as well, great saints and prophets come, but when they leave, chaos and deviation ensues.

    When the Arab Muslims invaded Iran, they killed anyone who did not convert, hence we have mass immigration of Persians to India, more preciecsly to Gujarat, where they are called Parsis, and where they were freely allowed to live a life of their faith without fearing of being slaughtered to death because they think differently.

    Muslims introduced forced circumcision, and unknown practice to Persians. They would basically cut of the genitals of men, or the foreskin, because some mad man after the passing of the great prophet Mohammed proclaimed it to be clean. But why did God create men with foreskin in the first place, the Quran says man is made perfect, but these so called Muslims blinded by ignorance, thought they knew better than God.

    there are many many such deviations. Eating of flesh is forbidden in the Quran, one cannot eat anything that’s has blood in it. But these so called Muslims introduced after the passing of Mohammed something called halal food, where they cut the throat of animals let it bleed to death, and then eat it, as if now the food is sanctified. All modern religion have completely deviated from their true intent, unfortunately. But this is after all the material world, anything good deteriorates, but the wise are recommended to study the original teachings whether it be Bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita etc. only then can one be elevated to goodness and love for God.

    These so called Muslims destroyed Persian art, f.ex. anything that depicted women was destroyed. All these events are recorded they are not personal views, I advice the sane reader not accept things blindly whether from History channel or from this documentary. Best is to do independent research to arrive at proper conclusions.

    What happens after the fourth face, I did not bother see the whole documentary as mentioned, but this doc. Is subtle regime propaganda. The modern regime starve their own people, are against America, yet all mullahs hold green cards, own property in the west paid for by Iranian tax money and the list goes on and on, they are a disgrace. But unfortunately this whole world is lead by mad men,there is no such thing as good vs bad, nowadays all gov. are to a different degree bad and evil, but there are gradations and the Iranian regime which holds its own people hostage is more bad and evil than a country such as Iceland. No need to go in details.


    1. sara

      thank you for your comment and support. the Islamic regim of Iran is trying to destroy our history and our country but they have forgoten that after every fall we rise more stronger

  2. Erfab

    I'm Erfan, an Iranian. In some of the comments I saw humiliations to our Imam and Islamic Revolution. My friends, you don't know anything about iran. Your brains are full of wrong information given to you by western media. Don't compare our imam with North Korean Leader. You think because of Imam Khomeini we're heading for disaster, we're terrorists,... they're absolutely wrong. Western media shows we iranians as terrorists but the reality is quite different. Actually the reason we're not devoped is that US, Europe have imposed a deadly war and lots of sanctions on us. Now thank God we're living peacefully
    and will resist our enemies even if we lose our lives.

    1. TT

      ???? You're So Funny ??? north korean leader better than your imam . We must compare your imam with Hitler , we know had wrong compare

    2. sara

      if there is some one who dont know about iran and being a true iranina its you. you are the ahriman of iran

  3. Brian Muldoon

    "Every country has a right to nuclear energy"? ...sez who? That is like saying every country has a right to weaponized smallpox so their R and D folks can develop an antidote. No one has a right to anything my dear. Reality is what the strong and smart make, not the strong and stupid or weak and smart. Our own nation is a result of that (slavery and Native american land; exploitative capitalism and rampant materialism). You folks can talk about " iran really is the birthplace of civilization and culture as well as tolerance and equality. the greatest civilization/empire in human history" all you wish but there has never been tolerance and equality (unless maybe you are from another planet?). That is like saying the United States practices democracy...politically we may have the facade of democracy (though for Presidential elections we have no direct vote) but economically we are o where near democratic. If I want to talk to the President and the chief lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute wants to talk to the President, who do you think will get 15 minutes of his time? Me? More likely they will sic the Secret Service on me.

    Hate to say it but "Texastea2" has a handle on reality but religion is not nor never has been the real driving is all about wealth and power.

  4. whats up

    now this country heading towards disaster .....and run by there headless chicken imam leader like ayatollah khomeini......who r suppressor of freedom and rich persian culture there so called peaceful religion aka islam....

    just for info more than 800 yrs ago during islamic invasion of greater persia many Parsi aka Zoroastrian came in india (which is not democratic country at a that time ) NOT single of out them converted or persecuted for there religion there was a hindu king near gujarat who gave them special place for there fire temple on request by parsi people " where hindus r not allowed near the temples "

    great contribution for india freedom

    in india parsi is symbol of pure and trust ...80 % of them are filthy rich
    some notable people
    see google info ab8 them
    Wadia (current generation = ness wadia )....who build war ships in world war 2 for british empire
    with there own company and other companies

    Adi Godrej -- of godrej company

    Ratan TATA --- worlds one of biggest brand tycoon estimated value in trillions but he distributed his property and company shares

  5. Irani

    This is a great documentary but it's not fair to upload whole the DVD. If we love Iran we should support such producers and copy right. By sharing the film, you destroy them and there would be less and less of such great works in the future.

  6. Uzeyir78

    In my opinion This film was created by politician not by historian. Most of scientists, poets and architects narrated in the film were Azerbaijani not Iranian. The city Tabriz was the capital city of the empire of Safavian (Azerbaijani empire not Iranian).

    1. doc_lover

      ...and Azerbaijan (or more precisely, Azar-Baygan) was a part of Iran for many centuries. Nowadays, fortunately, the most important cities of Azerbaijan (e.g., Tabriz) are still proudly a part of Iran.

  7. fonbindelhofas

    great doc. thank you for a glimpse into Iranian wonders

  8. Bijan Mxyz

    Intellectual aspects of the Persian civilization was sufficated by the coming of the islam you moran and not flowered!

  9. ne yaa zaw

    Seem, too proud for old days I guess, but anyway thank for sharing.

  10. Maria Gischelli

    how ca i download this documentary so that i could show it to my students?reply please,.thanks

  11. Leofwin

    They keep talking about "7,000 years of heritage" . . . but everyone has 7,000 years of heritage. Humans all came from the same place, Africa, at the same time, the Middle Paleolithic.

    And they keep talking about how tolerant the Persian empire was. It wasn't very tolerant to the Greeks though, was it?

    1. J.C.

      Greeks attacked them first.

    2. texastea2

      who attacked who depends simply on how far back one chooses to go. Everybody needs to stop giving a damn about the frickin PAST

    3. msnam

      you probably mean 70,000 years ago from Africa, bro.

    4. texastea2

      They also failed to point out that the word EMPIRE which the curent rulers of that area like to sling at "the west" comes from that part of the world. No doubt we all have many thousands of years of "heritage" humans have been around for many100s of thousands of years. Isn't it strange though how it seems to defy logic with this Africa first thing.Everywhere else on the planet is covered with humans like a cancer on the land cars cities jets rockets sattelites landing equipment on mars. Then there is Africa it seems like instead of where we came from it is the last place we got to.Just does not make sense Something is wrong. We must of left in a big hurry and never looked back.
      I bet we came from Asia some where perhaps China or India

  12. Herr Wunderbar

    Enjoy the animations, you are not going to find that in oxford history books.

  13. dj

    Brought to you by the wisdom & foresight of the Iranian ministry of Culture. Gratefully acknowledging financial contribution by the Khomeni family cultural trust.

  14. Gary V

    WTF is this ? it starts of like a film by the Iranian tourist board. That put me off from the start & then it went down hill after that, it's like a history lesson for 5 year olds. I got as far as 10 minutes in & gave up, which is a shame as I was really looking forward to leaning something about Iran. Oh well, on to the next one.

    1. Kathleen Jane Wilson

      Hiya...i love learning and have good intelligence....but suffer from a disorder that makes the consumption of knowledge hard and memorable ....documentaries like this....explaining in a childlike way as you say....are much more digestible for some of us.... :)

    2. avd420

      lol hey at least your learning disorder has been diagnosed. I think many who post on TDF may be unaware of their's. I enjoyed this doc as well.

  15. atteist

    im sorry for my spelling !if somwon whats and has the time to reright this plis do ! juhst whanted to start with that i relly spell in english beliv this is my first time ! but i juhst haf to coment this Pozzimystic dude !

    im born in a muslim famely but i haf to say im mor ov an atieist ! but how can you say " I personally think if there is an evil force in this world it is Islam and the teachings of Mohamed" this shows how pathetic you are ! i say this one time and one time only religion has nothing to do with evil things happening in the world its people that do them.

    now an exapel becus often ignorent fols like you need exampels to understand !
    "what you seek you will find at the end of the road " if you and i read this taxt we can get difrent menings ! for exampel when i read that text i think me lerning and trying tu len ass much as posibel. for somwon else it can be tresur from a map he has found !

    you se ther are milions of people that read the koran ore the bibel it dosent mean every one has the same idea of what its ses .

    relligons has and will allways bin and will aways be used for perssonal benefitts like the church sold passways ito heven and and alquida promesing pore people wellth and a plays in heven for him and his fammely if they blow them selfs up!

    you can not blame the regullar people becus even if they know beter they don´t hav a beter option so they "go with the flow". americans hate muslims and vice verca .

    but like allways knolleg has always bin the enemy of the the ppl in charge of a cuntry ore kingdom and the ppl that read and aducate them self knows the real reson examepel " wy the americans whent to war with irak"

    at the end i juhst hope somwon can understad wot iv ben trying to say !
    and plis if you get my memo ples re right my text if you hav the time of corse!

    1. b1arygar1r

      i like what you said.dont worry people can understand what you wrote

    2. texastea2

      You are right the problem is not religion it is that people believe the religions. If people of the world would simply keep their religions to themselves ALL of us,including those of us who are not any religion and have still managed to survive.Could all live and prosper in peace. Sure we would still have disagreements but we would not treat others like an ALIEN SPECIES.All the fighting in the middle east is religous Iran rules peoples lives based off of religion which is a belief in something with no evidence for its claims whatsoever.Ludicrous to me.Religion is a PROBLEM ask anyone in south America or North America or Africa Australia Asia oh yeah you would not know this but all of these places used to have many different beliefs if any.THEY WERE KILLED for their own good of course at least they went to heaven and thats the main thing with religion can't prove heavan exist but if I can make you believe it it justifies all the terribnle things done in religions name and it makes it MUCH easier to control people (especially after you killed their ancestors or just killed their parents) it must GO
      If religion is not a PROBLEM then humans are a sick mutation that will run its curse and kill itself off.(probably by religous wars). PS I will say it thousands and thousands of time in my life. Modern religion is SICK and extremely DANGEROUS to our EXISTENCE.

  16. jack1952

    @ Joris83

    That's life. Nothing ever is as it should be. If perfection is finally achieved we will suffer from boredom. I guess what I'm saying is to live that life you have not the one you want.

    I would love to go to Holland someday. My dad is from Assen and my mom from Friesland and I have a lot of relatives there.

  17. Joris83

    Oh would really like to go to Canada some day!
    Well what I ment by my last comments is that people just dont know what really happining in the world....I dont say that I know, but I surely know that some things arent right and that many people are beeing fooled. Maybe something that you can be facetious about but it really makes me mad sometimes....
    We got a really good system over here! Good healtcare and social care...but still...feels things arent how it should be.

  18. jack1952

    @ Joris83

    We live in Canada and I was being facetious. From what I've heard Holland is fantastic place to call home.

  19. Joris83

    Well that depends....were do they live now if i may ask?
    Its not all that bad if you compare it to other western countrys.
    You got sheep everywhere. Even our politicians are sheep of the US, we are a small country depending on the economic influence of the us.
    And if you see this doc. Our politicians are talking about the muslims as the black bad sheep of our society...tolerance of religion? There aint any....they abuse it...well hell! Dont't worry be happuy ;)

  20. jack1952

    @ Joris83

    My parents left Holland to escape a life of oppression. I'm glad to hear they made the right decision.

  21. Joris83

    Really good documantary!
    Feeling sometimes ashamed for the politics the western countrys work out!
    We live in a very choatic modern world based on greed and lies....
    Some people could really learn a lot by watching docs like this! You wont learn things like this from regular media...
    Well not in holland...

  22. joeboer

    Loved it. Capturaing all that history captured in a single documentary is a mighty task and I must say well done.

    One comments :
    The commentary was bit unobjective and constant reference to western civilization like "did this or that before marco polo or romans" just weakens the documentary which showcases iranian civilization which can stand by its own merit and does not need the approval that I sense in the commentator's tone.

    I guess its a result of the inferiority complex that has developed in modern days with iran constantly targetted by the west.
    Finally All that greatness and then there is this guy : Ahmedinejad.

    *sigh*. oh Well.

  23. Randwulfen

    To TRL11:

    That's it? Sorry for the type-o. Again, your assumption that I cannot spell is incorrect, and I highly doubt you have any valid statistics about "defiant defenders of Iran" ALL being unable to spell. Perhaps that is the case for people where you, but then I doubt that you can spell all that well... which would mean you believe that you are an Iranian defender. Again, you should think before you speak. I know that is asking a lot from a red neck. Also, I am not just defending Iran, but any country that has been overrun numberous times by conquering invaders (be they Mongols or Americans). Your comment merely shows everyone here your true ignorance of both history and politics... but you do have a good eye for spelling errors apparently. I'm surprised you know how to spell at all.

  24. TRL11

    Why is it that all the defiant defenders of Iran can't spell worth a damn?

    1. paul.espinosa

      Its because they don't use Firefox's spell checker plug-in like us westerners.

  25. Randwulfen

    To TRL11:

    If your country had been invaded and nearly wiped out as many times as Iran, you would also be as defiant as they from foreign interference from belligerent countries such as Isael and America...and Israel owes their very existence to Iran. Israel and Iran have more in common than not. No one has the right to dictate to the world who may have nuclear technology, nor threaten a country for simply developing on the same scale as they have hypocritical. Don't be fooled by Israeli or American political rhetoric. They want cheap oil, and they'll say anything to you to con you into believing Iran is the next "Evil Empire" to invade. Iran has "rattled their saber", but it is America that invades without just cause, and Israel that provokes Iran. I would have no fear of walking down the streets of Iran, as I would in Israel or America...and I'm a Canadian!

    1. texastea2

      A canadian muslim perhaps.Everybody would love to have cheap welcome to earth. Israel owes tyheir existense to iran sure its your silly story I will agree with one thing sure no one has a right to tell others so I dsay we let the Iranians develop nuclear weapons and and when they disguise them as some terrorist plot THEN we go ahead and destroy them once and for all.The problem with Iran is not America only problem America EVER had wjth them was the Americans did not like putting billions of dollars into Iran developing your cheap oil just to have a bunch of crazy people go on the warpath and steal their money and equipment.Using your thought the Iranians oil networks existense is owed to America. Your silly.
      Of course you feel safe in Iran fear of getting stoned to death seems to quiet the nightlife (that and controlling every aspect of ones personal life) all of the tolerance is gone all that is left is the belief in the mystical and everafter hocus pocus that will hopefully die out as will christianityb and all the rest of the crazy ones.
      One could die and of course (if one could) NOT lol come back in 7000 years we will be extinct or we will have admitted that religion is just a story believed by ignorance propagated in order for people of power to remain in power. Or the third case will be we come back and they will simply have moved on to more and more different gods and creators and laws and such to follow.

  26. hafez

    wow amazing

  27. john

    more people should watch this
    persians are not arabs

  28. hazem.... an egtptian

    really am not suprised i was know about ianian civilization all what i want to say is you westerner you most get better knowledg about the muslim world we have the histoy of humanity civilization and i want give spicial thank to all of the edetors of this documentay

  29. jack1952

    A barking dog never bites. except for the one that bit me. Ahmadinejad may bark a lot but why sharpen his teeth.

    It was fundamentalist Muslims who were sick of the Shah and his secular and modern policies. The more they protested the more oppressive the Shah believed he had to react. These are the same Muslims who eventually declared a fatwa against Rushdie because of a book he wrote.
    Although I am not a fan of the Shah, he was a hell of lot better than the leadership they have now.

    Hitler also admired Great Britain and did not want to fight them. Should the British hate themselves because of this admiration.

  30. haveatampa

    A great Land, A great history, and still a great people. Persia of old, not Iran of Islam. What an ignorant government now and how it demotes itself and denounces it's beautiful and rich heritage and the ancient Zoroastrian Faith, Brother to the equally great and ancient Hindu Faith and Empire- both ancient lands of the Aryas!

  31. grey area

    well said all of you.
    i do believe that iran was a country that was much better a long time ago. when the shah was in power u.s and britain were best pals with iran, only because he was selling them oil cheap and living his own life in luxury. did you know hitler was a great fan of iran? that didnt stop the allies from being friends with iran after the war,,,all about oil. when the people got sick of the shah they had nowhere else to turn but to the islamic revolution. when that happened u.s has been enemies ever since. it is unfortunate that the president has a big fat mouth and runs it off before thinking. iran was a zoroastrian religion and true persians will tell u the same today, i think if the arabs had not brought islam to iran it may have be a world power again today. ahmadinejad is an all-talk loudmouth tho...if he really had plans to take out israel he woulnt have said anything, he jus wants to look like big $hit in the eyes of the muslim world is all

  32. jack1952

    @ Franklin

    Every country has the right to nuclear energy. But if their leadership speaks openly and vehemently about the annihilation of another country (Israel) the rest of the world has a right to be concerned. This is not a lie; it came from the mouth of their president. If one country is deemed worthy of destruction then why not two countries . Until that mindset is gone there always be objections to the development of nuclear energy in Iran.

    It is unfortunate that the recent history of Iran overshadows an otherwise rich and long tradition.

  33. Franklin

    Iran has the right to nuclear energy to power its cities. the western media spins the issue into a mushroom cloud which is hugely innacurate. If Iran was hostile they would use their army. using nuclear bombs against any of their neighbours is not in the interests of Iran. Stop believing the lies and understand that you are being led to believe that iran is an enemy when its really just a geopolitical agenda.

  34. esma

    iran without its nuclear program!
    only just this feature is enough for me to make this doc worth watching..

  35. Crow

    Stunningly beautiful art & architecture. Thanks, Vlatko!

  36. Arnold Vinette

    After watching this documentary on Iran and the birth place of civilization it is quite sad that United States politics, policy and energy wars have turned Iran into such a negative place in the eyes of Westerners.

    I am glad to see this documentary reveal the long 7,000 year history or Iran and its importance in human history and civilization.

    A lot of work has gone into this documentary, special thanks to everyone involved and their efforts to better educate people interested in Iran, its history and human history!

    All of this Iranian history is new to me so I found it very interesting.

    I look forward to more documentaries like this on Iran and the Middle East area that educate people like myself from the west about this area of the world. All very interesting and educational.

    Arnold Vinette
    Ottawa, Canada

  37. Mad

    This was an awesome documentary showing the many great things that come from the middle east as far as arts, music, and academics goes. Fascinating stuff this was on par with "the man who walked across the world"

  38. MIchael22541


  39. grey area

    beautiful doc. iran really is the birthplace of civilization and culture as well as tolerance and equality. the greatest civilization/empire in human history i would say without a doubt. art and structures unrivaled in the ancient world making the pyramids look like useless piles of bricks and even greek structures look boring and regular at best. cyrus the great was one of the greatest men in history as well. a charismatic man who brought together many tribes and formed the kingdom of persia as well as compassionate liberator who freed the jew slaves of babylon after conquering it. the man who made the first charter of human rights on tablet . even today u.s president and senate wannabes are told to read 2 books machiavelli the prince and a book called 'the education of cyrus' . he was even alexanders hero , for amassing such a kingdom empire from nothing... makes you a TRULY great man. those greeks who desacrated his grave were swiftly tortured and killed by alexander for such devious acts.

  40. droppinbombsonyomoms

    @toodance Babylon took 'em as slaves, then Persia conquered babylon and freed them.

  41. toodance

    @Atom and sim
    Thanks. Who took them as slaves? Greece? I missed that part.

  42. TRL11

    Persia has a long and admirable history all the way up until the Shah, the Islamic revolution and now their illegitimate, bat-s@#$ crazy president. This is a country which was much better long ago than it is today.

  43. sim

    I am wondering why they did not cover the Arabian invasion of Iran!

    They were using liberation of the Jews as an example of the Achamendis' high morales.

  44. Atom

    Because Iran freed them from slavery, allowing them to return

  45. toodance

    I wonder why (in part 2) he devotes time talking about Jews returning to Palestine. Thought that was annoying, as it has nothing to do with Iran.

    I loved looking at the beautiful artifacts.