Ben Hur Sepher is one of the Iranian Jewish community’s rare filmmakers who has made a name for himself in Iran and the United States for writing, directing and producing provacative films. His occupation as a filmmaker is indeed unique in the Iranian Jewish community because individuals who pursued careers in the arts or entertainment in Iran were typically not looked highly upon or even respected. Nevertheless Sepher was trained in his craft at the Swedish Film Institute and began his career at the Stockholm State Theatre as a protégée to renown film director Ingmar Bergman. Sepher went on to direct films and plays in Iran and was the personal filmmaker to the late Shah of Iran— shooting the Shah’s private meeting and gatherings. Since immigrating to the U.S. three decades ago, he has gone on to direct a whole host of television programs and short films in Hollywood.
I recently had a chance to view his truly amazing new film “The Desperate” that was released just a few months ago. The film deals with an imprisoned and eminent Jewish surgeon in a concentration camp during World War II who is conscripted at gunpoint to perform emergency surgery on the son of a fearsome Nazi general. The subject matter of the film dealing with the Holocaust, which in this case is coming from a filmmaker of Iranian descent speaks volumes in light of Iran’s current president denying the existance of the Holocaust. Interestingly, the film since its release has received rave reviews from critics and community members with its remarkable message about humanity.
The following is my brief interview with Sepher about his new film “The Desperate” and his career in the industry….
Here is a clip from “The Desperate”....