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The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam (2005)

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Kamran is a 12 year old boy in the present day who discovers that his ancestor is the 11th Century Mathematician, Astronomer, Poet of Persia, Omar Khayyam. The story has been passed down in... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Imam Muaffak (as Rade Sherbedgia)
Miss Sangorski
Hassan Sabbah
Marie Espinosa ...
Miss Taylor
Coach Fielding
Kevin Anding ...
Daniel Black ...
Little Omar
Dariush Iran Nezhad ...
Grandfather (as Daryoush Irannejad)
Richard Dillard ...
Mansour's Boss
Furkal Fayziev ...


Kamran is a 12 year old boy in the present day who discovers that his ancestor is the 11th Century Mathematician, Astronomer, Poet of Persia, Omar Khayyam. The story has been passed down in his family from one generation to another, and now it is his responsibility to keep the story alive for future generations. The film takes us from the modern day to the epic past where the relationship between Omar Khayyam, Hassan Sabbah (the original creator of the sect of Assassins) and their mutual love for a beautiful woman separate them from their eternal bond of friendship. Filmed almost entirely on location in Samarkand and Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Written by Kayvan Mashayekh, Writer/Director "The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam"

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love, Destiny, Faith.....eternal truths from a genius with the soul of a poet

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

10 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Omar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,476 (USA) (24 June 2005)


$224,512 (USA) (5 May 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The project was halted and started twice due to lack of funding. See more »


The Alalamut (Aluh Amut) Castle, center of operation of Hassan-e-Sabah is actually 670 miles (1048 Kilometers) away from Nishapur (Nishabur) the capital of Malik Shah. See more »


From Here To Beyond
Performed by Shani Rigsbee
Written by Shani Rigsbee
Published by Cherokee Charm Music (ascap)
Courtesy of Cherokee Music Group
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User Reviews

A Film Rich in Visual Splendor and in Message
25 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer/Director Kayvan Mashayekh has created a fine film biography of the 11th century poet/philosopher/mathematician Omar Khayyam and in doing so has presented his viewers with much food for thought. An Iranian immigrant to the US, Mashayekh set out to not only share the rich cultural heritage of his homeland, but he also found a way to make the story even more meaningful: 'The Keeper' refers to the member of Iranian families (or all families for that matter) whose role it is to preserve and share and perpetuate the history of the family, saving ties to the past to assure they never are forgotten. Oral histories these, but in Mashayekh's hands (with writing assists from Belle Avery) this story draws the viewer into an Iranian family's life of diaspora and the deep tug to remain connected its dazzling past. The film is timely to say the least, and the message is one that will benefit the audiences fortunate to see it in understanding a controversial country and its people.

Young Kamran (Adam Echahly) sits beside the bedside of his dying older brother Nader (Puya Behinaein) attentive to the stories about the family's tie to the Persian poet Omar Khayyam. The oral history is parceled out as the older brother dies and when death prevents the conclusion of the history young Kamran sneaks away to England where he encounters an elderly heiress (Vanessa Redgrave) who shares with him the handmade book of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and directs him to its source. Kamran then travels to Iran to his elderly grandfather (Dariush Iran Nezhad) who rejoices in the fact that Kamran is so committed to the family history and proceeds to share the mysteries of the hallowed ancestor.

This contemporary story serves as a reference point to depict the actual times of Omar Khayyam (Bruno Lastra), revealing the man's childhood with his commitment to learning and to his two close friends Darya (Marie Espinosa) and Hassan (Christopher Simpson). Omar pursues learning and Hassan follows soldiering: they both love Darya but she is sold into slavery. The chain of events is unraveled slowly as we see every step of Omar's education into astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and poetry. He is a Muslim who is a lover of reason and tolerance, a man who keeps his pledges of trust and honor and translates his emotions into poetry that will live far beyond his time. Persia is invaded by the Turks with Sultan Malikshah (Moritz Bleibtreu) and the sultan is wise enough to employ the gifts of Omar for his court. The ruthlessness of the times destroys much of the empire: the Christian Crusaders and the Saracens destroy the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the seeds of struggle that persist to this day are sewn. But above it all is Omar's commitment to reason and to tolerance and his power is felt both at the time of the devastation and even to this day.

The film was shot almost entirely in Uzbekistan and other exotic locations not usually seen by US audiences. The added features on the DVD include a very fine commentary by the director and by an authority on Omar Khayyam who manages to give us a terrific history lesson! There are also production comments that share some of the coincidental beauties and difficulties in shooting this film. The actors are all fine: one wishes for more depth to their characters, which should have been the province of the writers. But the overall effect of this visually stunning film is one of reverence for Iran's past and for the legacy of Omar Khayyam. It is a fine story and an equally fine history lesson.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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