7 December 2012 7:09 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

In early March, one week shy of the SXSW Film Festival, I received a secure link to view "The Sheik and I" online. Set to premiere in competition at SXSW, this was the latest provocation from performance artist/filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, whose reputation precedes him: Using a diary-like approach to make audiences uncomfortably intimate with his rabble-rousing, intensely neurotic persona, Zahedi's antics stretch back more than 20 years: They began with his debut feature, "A Little Stiff," and continued with later works like 2005's self-explanatory "I Am a Sex Addict." Needless to say, I figured "The Sheik and I" would push some familiar buttons, but could not have predicted the series of conflicts that it would create. First off: I loved "The Sheik and I." A documentary essay narrated by Zahedi, it follows his comically doomed attempts to take on an assignment from the Sharjah Biennial arts festival a year ago, »

- Eric Kohn

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