Shahin Parhami: A Life in Pictures

by Donato Totaro Volume 25, Issue 11-12 / November 2021 1 minute (224 words)

Most of the photos you will see below come directly from Shahin Parhami’s Facebook page. I had a handful of my own photos with Shahin but I was surprised how few photos I did have of or with Shahin after knowing him for nearly thirty years! But I am thankful to Lara Braitstein, Shahin Parhami’s once life partner and great friend to the end, for suggesting that I resource his Facebook Page for the wonderful photos that Shahin shared with his FB friends over the years. I had a wonderful time looking through all these great photos and —as will be in evidence to all— photography was just one more artistic thing Shahin was really good at. I tried to be selective and not go overboard, since there are A LOT of photos there, and pick the ones that formed something of a narrative of Shahin’s life. So I’ve separated the photos into four categories that run somewhat chronologically: The Early Years (Iran, Turkey, Ottawa); The Traveller; Behind the Scenes; With Friends; and Life in Montreal. Enjoy.

The Early Years (Iran, Turkey, Ottawa)

With Dad at age 1, Shiraz

Beefcake pose & James Dean phase

Shiraz, circa 1980s
Ottawa, late 1980s, early 1990s

With guitar

His James Dean, The Wild One phase

Turkey, Ottawa, 1994

The Traveller

Sadeq Hedayat’s grave in Paris (Père Lachaise cemetery)
Visiting the Kafka grave, Prague, Czech Republic

Asian Cinema Fund, with Sandeep Ray
Busan International Film Festival

In Beyoglu, Taksim, Turkey
In Sirjan, Iran


Tianjin, China
Thermal Baths, New Zealand


Behind the Scenes

Setting up a dolly shot with assisant Farbod Honarpisheh

With actress from Sharzhaad’s Tale

On the set of Nasoot

Cast of Sharzhaad’s Tale, and shooting in the ‘Garden of Stone’

With Friends

With Lara Braitstein and Marcel Braitstein
With Lara Braitstein

With furry friend

With Peter Rist, David Hanley and Lara Braitstein
With Peter Rist and Donato Totaro, Peterborough, Ontario

With Atom Egoyan in Yamagata, Japan
Maybe his best friend, the camera?

With Farbod Honarpisheh, Peter Rist and Mustafa Uzunen, the day after Kiarostami’s death
With Peter Rist, Donato Totaro, Farbod Honarpisheh at Peterborough, Ontario

With Karina Mariano at the Montreal Underground Film Festival
With Marcel Braitstein at the local diner

Celebrating a birthday
Getting a cut in the Plateau

At Al-Baghdadi Pastry
At his favorite local Indian resto, Halal786

Montreal crowds

At the Mural Festival
And being Shahin!

Hamming it up


Life in Montreal

Shahin Parhami: A Life in Pictures

Donato Totaro has been the editor of the online film journal Offscreen since its inception in 1997. Totaro received his PhD in Film & Television from the University of Warwick (UK), is a part-time professor in Film Studies at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) and a longstanding member of AQCC (Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma).

Volume 25, Issue 11-12 / November 2021 Artist’s Page   canadian art   iranian art   shahin parhami  

Also in Volume 25, Issue 11-12