A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS to Premiere on HBO in March

Learn more about "A Revolution on Canvas" before its March 5 debut

By: Feb. 22, 2024
A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS to Premiere on HBO in March
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The HBO Original documentary A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS, produced and directed by Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder (“When God Sleeps,” “The Iran Job”), debuts WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5 (9:00-10:25 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

In this political thriller and verité portrait documentary, Nodjoumi and Schauder dive into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of more than 100 "treasonous" paintings by Sara's father, seminal Iranian modern artist Nickzad “Nicky” Nodjoumi.

Brimming with emotional undercurrents, A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS follows Sara Nodjoumi as she traces a timeline of events, discovering her father's ongoing activism, his complicated relationship with her mother, artist Nahid Hagigat, and how the implications of his incendiary art impacted the trajectory of their family's future together.

In 1980, Nicky Nodjoumi fled Iran in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. With his life in danger due to the controversial nature of his paintings on show at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, he joined his wife, Nahid, and daughter, Sara, in New York City, restlessly living in exile and continuing to paint. 40 years later, Sara begins an investigation to track down and reclaim her father's lost artwork from Tehran.

As the investigation deepens, she unearths the emotionally charged story of her family mirrored in the political and cultural upheavals of her parents' homeland. Having participated in the pro-democracy movement to oust the Shah of Iran in the 1970s, Nicky's hope for a new Iran crumbled with the ascendance of an authoritarian regime.

His provocative paintings, now depicting the new Islamic power brokers, were quickly seized, and rumored to be destroyed by radical Islamists or stowed away in the basement of the museum. As new protests ignite the streets of Iran in 2022, Sara and Nicky contact former workers at the museum determined to find someone on the ground in Tehran who can help locate the paintings but are stymied in their efforts until a contact in Tehran unexpectedly gains access to the museum's unseen basement and archival collection.

Raising questions about religious and political extremism, the sacrifices of creative freedom and activism, and the enduring power of art A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS chronicles Sara's deeply personal inquiry into her family and the central events of her parents' life, paying tribute to their art while unveiling the complexity and longing that comes with living in exile from one's ancestral home.

Blending personal archival video and never-before-seen photos of the revolution, Nicky and Nahid's stunning artwork, footage of Nicky at work in his New York studio, and observational footage of Sara's investigation into the missing art captured in the U.S., Iran, France, and Turkey,  the film includes participation from celebrated artist Nickzad “Nicky” Nodjoumi, his ex-wife artist Nahid Hagigat, and contemporaries including Mahmoudreza Bahmanpour, a Tehran based publisher of art books; Linda Komaroff, a curator of Islamic art at Los Angeles County Musueam of Art; Clare Davies, associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Shirin Neshat, an internationally recognized Iranian artist; Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Shiva Balaghi, a cultural historian; and Masud Shafie Monfared, the former director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

HBO Documentary Films presents A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS A Partner Pictures Production, produced and directed by Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Sara Rodriguez.