The Twelve Shorts of Christmas #4: Concerning the Bodyguard (2016)

US / 10 minutes / color / Kasra Farahani Dir: Kasra Farahani Pr: Jose Nunez, Zamin Mirza Story: “Concerning the Bodyguard” (1978, New Yorker) by Donald Barthelme Cine: Alexander Alexandrov Cast: Salman Rushdie (voice), Junes Zahdi, Simon Ebrahimi, Ayden Mayeri, Zaid Abro, Billy Khoury, Lisa Goodman.

The Donald Barthelme story upon which this short movie is based appeared in the New Yorker in 1978, but the movie appears to have had its genesis much later, in an August 2011 New Yorker podcast featuring a reading of the story by Salman Rushdie. That reading forms the movie’s soundtrack; the movie’s otherwise silent save for some (rather pretty) incidental music at start and close.

Junes Zahdi as the Bobyguard

The story, a copy of which you can find here, is made up largely of questions—questions like this:

“Has the bodyguard noted the difference in quality between his suit and that of his principal? Between his shoes and those of his principal?”

That structure might not seem promising as a means of creating a gripping narrative, but in fact it works surprisingly well—even better in Rushdie’s reading than Continue reading