Pouring Water on Troubled Oil

© Nariman Massoumi
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In 1951, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company set out to produce a publicity film promoting its activities in Iran. They hired Dylan Thomas. This 26 minute poetic documentary follows Thomas’s journey capturing his encounter with the country and its people as a political upheaval for oil nationalisation unfolds. Constructed almost entirely from archival photographic images and Thomas’s lyrical reflections (performed in voiceover by Michael Sheen), the film captures the poet’s haunting vision of oil and modernity in 1950s Iran.

Genre: Archive, Documentary, Environmental

Welsh Connections

Voiceover: Michael Sheen
Story: Dylan Thomas’s journey through Iran is a little known aspect of his life despite the numerous publications about him. This film offers a unique insight into the poet’s response to a colonial encounter with Iranian oil. Produced entirely from archive

Technical Details

Length: 26 minutes
Language: English, Farsi
Certificate: Uncertified
Format: DCP, MOV or MP4
Accessibility: English subtitles


Date: April 13th 2023 (It’s All True International Documentary Festival, Brazil 2023, World Premiere)

Rightsholder: Nariman Massoumi
Contact: n.massoumi@bristol.ac.uk