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445 Ratings


Italy, Iran, 2017


In the south of Iran, there is a group of islands of the Persian Gulf where humans and spirits have coexisted for centuries. The culture and traditions of these islands are the result of the encounters between Iran, African and Arab countries; generating a unique system of syncretic beliefs.

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Archipelago Directed by Camilla Insom, Giulio Squillacciotti

What are people saying?

  • Not A Sexy Vampire's rating of the film Archipelago

    A look at the faith culture of the Persian Gulf is not really my scene, but the beautiful screenshot MUBI chose and the good ratings inspired me to give this a go. I found it too slow and couldn't get into it, which was a bit of a shame because I'm sure there's a lot of good stuff in here. I was impressed by the cinematography and the clash of faith traditions and modernity. Ultimately though, a bit flat.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Archipelago

    Although cinematographically there is little to admire (except a couple of exterior shots) in terms of content this is an anthropologically insighful topogrpahy of religious cults. Interestingly enough, the polytheistic approach of the islanders bears the stamp of what is universal, I guess, in religion, namely the embodiment of the sacred. The 'exorcist' rites of group ecstasy should also be particularly noted.

  • Edoardo Moghetti's rating of the film Archipelago

    Don't know if it's better to read it before or after watching the film, but I strongly suggest to have a look at this paper. Deals with the same topic in Northern Sudan, focusing on the possession of women. I found it perfectly complementary to the pure ethnographic descriptivity of the film. "Spirits and selves in Northern Sudan: the cultural therapeutics of possession and trance"

  • Vipin's rating of the film Archipelago

    Brilliant piece of ethnography , reminds us of the work of Jean roach, the integrity of the documentary maker is very evident and opens to us the mysterious world of supernatural beings which are universal across all the ancient cultures. Interesting to read the comments and see how close minded the audience are and how condescending they are towards cultures far more in touch with reality then gadgets...

  • Girolamo's rating of the film Archipelago

    I was surprised by the number of people talking to me about a documentary that deals with such an obscure topic, but having finally watched it, I can see why. Dragged by the (excellent) camera work into the life and beliefs of these people, I was reminded that even today, as scientific and cultural homologation is making everything so damn dull and apathetic, it is yet possible to live by different paradigms

  • Dan Kenneth Gigernes's rating of the film Archipelago

    A look at a culture’s belief in the spirit world and how they deal with it. Is there some truths to be found? Is it the modern world and their cities that surpress this belief and that it exists or is it superstition? A man that live as a transvestite because of old spirits that take over his body may feel differently or do he use this belief so that he can behave in a way that soceity wouldn’t accept otherwise?

  • Erlösung's rating of the film Archipelago

    Religion, here in the earlier form of animism, is a way of understanding (constructing) existence. We see how spirituality is a stance, that of a man who is terrified by the unknown but does not falter and attempts to make sense of his experience. Any anthropologists would be delighted to support his/her studies with such a rich documentary; though being very specific and descriptive, it might be not worth your time.

  • zi's rating of the film Archipelago

    Interesting that this is an Italian (and Spanish) production... considering the Catholic Church's long history with exorcism. The people here, and their beliefs, are decidedly less sophisticated, but only ignorance would cause one to dismiss their actions out of hand. We deny the existence of the spirit world. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.