Search - The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam on DVD

The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam
The Keeper The Legend of Omar Khayyam
Actors: Vanessa Redgrave, Rade Sherbedgia, Moritz Bleibtreu, Bruno Lastra, Christopher Simpson
Director: Kayvan Mashayekh
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
PG     2006     1hr 35min

The life and trials of legendary poet, mathmetician, astronomer and warrior Omar Khayyam is told in this epic adventure praised by many of the nation's top film critics. Shot in English, this film transports the viewer to...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Vanessa Redgrave, Rade Sherbedgia, Moritz Bleibtreu, Bruno Lastra, Christopher Simpson
Director: Kayvan Mashayekh
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Studio: Hannover House
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Full length
DVD Release Date: 09/05/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set,Collector's Edition,Special Edition
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Film Rich in Visual Splendor and in Message
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Writer/Director Kayvan Mashayekh has created a fine film biography of the 11th century poet/philosopher/mathematician Omar Khayyam and in doing so has presented his viewers with much food for thought. An Iranian immigrant to the US, Mashayekh set out to not only share the rich cultural heritage of his homeland, but he also found a way to make the story even more meaningful: 'The Keeper' refers to the member of Iranian families (or all families for that matter) whose role it is to preserve and share and perpetuate the history of the family, saving ties to the past to assure they never are forgotten. Oral histories these, but in Mashayekh's hands (with writing assists from Belle Avery) this story draws the viewer into an Iranian family's life of diaspora and the deep tug to remain connected its dazzling past. The film is timely to say the least, and the message is one that will benefit the audiences fortunate to see it in understanding a controversial country and its people.

Young Kamran (Adam Echahly) sits beside the bedside of his dying older brother Nader (Puya Behinaein) attentive to the stories about the family's tie to the Persian poet Omar Khayyam. The oral history is parceled out as the older brother dies and when death prevents the conclusion of the history young Kamran sneaks away to England where he encounters an elderly heiress (Vanessa Redgrave) who shares with him the handmade book of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and directs him to its source. Kamran then travels to Iran to his elderly grandfather (Dariush Iran Nezhad) who rejoices in the fact that Kamran is so committed to the family history and proceeds to share the mysteries of the hallowed ancestor.

This contemporary story serves as a reference point to depict the actual times of Omar Khayyam (Bruno Lastra), revealing the man's childhood with his commitment to learning and to his two close friends Darya (Marie Espinosa) and Hassan (Christopher Simpson). Omar pursues learning and Hassan follows soldiering: they both love Darya but she is sold into slavery. The chain of events is unraveled slowly as we see every step of Omar's education into astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and poetry. He is a Muslim who is a lover of reason and tolerance, a man who keeps his pledges of trust and honor and translates his emotions into poetry that will live far beyond his time. Persia is invaded by the Turks with Sultan Malikshah (Moritz Bleibtreu) and the sultan is wise enough to employ the gifts of Omar for his court. The ruthlessness of the times destroys much of the empire: the Christian Crusaders and the Saracens destroy the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the seeds of struggle that persist to this day are sewn. But above it all is Omar's commitment to reason and to tolerance and his power is felt both at the time of the devastation and even to this day.

The film was shot almost entirely in Uzbekistan and other exotic locations not usually seen by US audiences. The added features on the DVD include a very fine commentary by the director and by an authority on Omar Khayyam who manages to give us a terrific history lesson! There are also production comments that share some of the coincidental beauties and difficulties in shooting this film. The actors are all fine: one wishes for more depth to their characters, which should have been the province of the writers. But the overall effect of this visually stunning film is one of reverence for Iran's past and for the legacy of Omar Khayyam. It is a fine story and an equally fine history lesson. Grady Harp, September 06

An epic, historic masterpiece
E. Parkinson | Los Angeles, CA | 09/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm at a loss for words to describe the scope, stature and relevance of this film which paints an enlightening portrait of modern conflict by portraying actual events from 1000 years ago. Certainly, this is the most ambitious first feature I've seen from a new director, reminiscent of how my jaw dropped the first time I saw Spielberg's debut "DUEL" air on network television. This is a seminal piece that I strongly recommend."
Simply Amazing!!!A Must Watch!
Absalom S. Hall | Portsmouth, OH USA | 09/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a timely film exploring the relationship between faith and reason, and the current generation (paticuarly the children of immigrant parents) responsability to preserve the stories of the past and the family heritage. This is a heartwarming story that will have you reaching for the kleenex's in certain scenes."
Impressive Feature Debut
Xan | Australia | 09/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Although the acting may seem stilted at times, the film offers a superb example of the power in preservation of ancestral cultures. It's depth and meaning lie beneath the surface, yet there is plenty to enjoy for anyone interested in history, romance, and adventure. However, it's not a film for purist Historians who think that History is something to be enjoyed as it is written in an encyclopedia. Cinematically and story wise it's a true breath of fresh air especially considering the plethora of negative imagery the world sees from the region in the media each day.

This is a film for the pure at heart who love similar stories passed down in their own families...kind of a cross between Whale Rider, Princess Bride, and 1001 Nights. It's rated PG for a reason, so the whole family can enjoy it without being put off with over the top violence or sexual situations.

The DVD Extras provide valuable insight to the creative vision behind the film, which can actually be incredibly useful in a college or high school art/history class. Given that the film was made on location during America's war in Afghanistan and that the massive cast and crew were filming 200 miles from the Afghan border in Uzbekistan, this alone should make it worthwhile viewing!