Bobak Kalhor – Iranian born, Los Angeles raised, takes a voyage of discovery in his documentary feature ‘A DYING KING: The Shah of Iran’.

Speaking with Bobak Kalhor, creator of the captivating  A DYING KING a feature documentary about the last King of Iran and his medical story.

On January 16,1979, the Shah of Iran Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, left the royal palace, the Peacock Throne and his beloved country Iran for the last time, commencing what became a 19-month odyssey into exile.

The Shah wandered hopelessly from Egypt to Morocco Bahamas, Mexico, the U.S, then Panama and back again to Egypt where he died furtively at the age of 60. His death had profound consequences for the future of the Middle East and the world, yet the untold medical story of the last King of Iran has to date remained a puzzling mystery. By unraveling the secrecy surrounding this critical period of history, beginning from the onset of the Shah’s illness to the diagnosis/misdiagnosis and maltreatment, A DYING KING exposes the main causes of the Iranian Revolution, the pursuant 444 days hostage crisis and the adversarial relations between the U.S and Iran. It is a riveting film that moves quickly, and is filled with intrigue and suspense.

Why were you interested in making this film?

Bobak Kalhor: This film is the culmination of seven years of chasing shadows and trying to reconstruct a series of events that led to the removal of a monarchy and the birth of an Imamate in Iran. The King’s illness was a natural place to start, as his mortality seemed to be the one tangible connection to reality that made the Shah’s motivations seem human. This film explains things that have never been revealed until now including what the Shah’s actual illness was, his diagnosis and when it first took place and how it was treated.

What is your background?

Bobak Kalhor:  I first came to the United States in 1976 when I was 7 years old, just a few years before the 1979 Iranian Revolution that ended the Pahlavi monarchy and brought about the Islamic Republic. During those last years of the Shah’s reign, my family traveled back and forth, before deciding to permanently settle in the U.S. In 1979, the impact of Iran’s revolution was the genesis for my creating  A DYING KING.  Factor in my experience of watching anti-U.S. street demonstrations on Tehran streets, experiencing anti-Iran hostility in the U.S. following the taking of its embassy and the unanswered questions about the Shah’s fate, questions still remained nearly 40 years later.

Prior to producing A DYING KING, from 2008 to 2011 I produced and hosted a popular call-in radio program in Los Angeles that centered on U.S./Iran politics. I then went on to serve as the assistant general manager at 670 AM KIRN and the general manager for Radio Iran LA before moving on to produce this documentary

How did you begin the achievement of creating this film?

Bobak Kalhor. I had met Dr. Morganstern from Cedars Sinai Medical Center, who agreed to do an interview for the Iranian/American Radio show I was hosting. Dr. Morganstern was gracious with his time in discussing, up until that point, the taboo issue of the Shah’s cancer diagnosis. It ended up to be a 4-hour interview and I was hooked. We agreed to do another interview and one thing led to another.

When and where will A DYING KING be available for theater goers?

Bobak Kaldor: It will premiere in Southern California theatres including the Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills beginning November 15, 2017, and Town Center in Encino beginning November 16, 2017. It will have a 1 week limited engagement at the LINDEN BLVD. Multiplex Theaters in Brooklyn, New York and will then expand into other cities around the nation.  The film will be globally distributed by Vision Films in January 2018 across all DVD and VOD platforms including Amazon,  iTunes, Google Play, Hoopla and various Cable providers.

It was a pleasure speaking with Bobak Kalhor.  I hope everyone will get a chance to see this meaningful film.

 

 

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