This episode of Jack Douglas’ television series Across the Seven Seas, “Seven Splendors of Persia,” joins American travel filmmakers Clifford and Bunny Kamen on their trip to Iran for a look at the splendors of old Persia. The episode opens with a shot of the Kamens leaving their home. Clifford Kamen speaks to the camera about his travels (brief footage shows him in Greece and Peru) and his recent trip with his wife to Iran, formally known as Persia. The couple walk of an airplane. Footage gives viewers a brief look inside Tehran’s airport and at the city’s buildings and streets with snow-capped peaks rising in the background. The couple have tea with an Iranian woman—supposedly a descendant of the Qajar dynasty—in her garden (02:49). At Iran’s National Bank, viewers are treated to a look inside a massive vault that houses pearls, emeralds, rubies, a large pink diamond, and the Imperial Crown of the Shah (03:32). Next, they visit the former private palatial residence of Persia’s shahs, which is now a museum (04:10), including a tour of the royal throne room (04:29). Here, viewers see the Great Peacock Throne with its leopard designed out of precious gems; the back of throne is a sheet of gold studded with more gemstones. The Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, arrives in the throne room for an official state function (05:44). On the shores of the Caspian Sea, fishermen prepare large nets to fish for sturgeon (06:16). The fishermen pull a massive net back to shore, but only catch one sturgeon. Some of the men cut open a sturgeon and remove the caviar (07:25). The Americans visit a Turkmen village (08:25), where they get to watch a traditional war dance. The episode shows a view of the Persian desert from a plane window (09:18), then the Kamens arrive in Shiraz. A young girl works on weaving a Persian rug (09:44). Young girls sit at a loom working on a rug. Men load rugs onto a wagon (10:54) in order to wash them in a river before they are shipped out to market. Cars drive over a drying rug on a street to help give it an antique look. Flames rise out of desert mountains from excess gas released from oil reserves (11:47). Crude oil is naturally pushed to surface here. An oil tanker carries oil to Europe (12:25). The next stop is the beautiful city of Isfahan (13:12), with its numerous domed mosques. Viewers get to see the intricate tilework inside one of the domes (14:17), as well as men praying inside one of the mosques. The Kamens visit the Great Bazaar of Isfahan where we see camels turning a stone wheel to press anise seed (15:22) and artisans making copper and brass trays. The next stop is out in the wilderness where the Kashgai tribe migrates to its wintering grounds (17:14). Children ride donkeys and horses. Camels haul supplies. Two girls “unpack” little goats from a large sack on top of a donkey. The two Americans have tea with the Kashgai. The final stop is at the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis (20:06), where viewers see the ceremonial center of the city (20:38), a road with the columns from what was the Gateway of Xerxes, and a number of polished stone reliefs. Close-up shots show ancient items from the city, including a golden dagger and a golden cup.
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