The tense relationship of a filmmaker’s parents mirrors Iran’s turbulent recent history in this stylish, inventive documentary. Best Feature-Length Documentary, IDFA 2020.
Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani starts her film by telling us that her mother Tayi married her father Hossein’s photograph. Tayi was in Tehran; Hossein was studying in Switzerland. Tayi eventually joined her husband in Europe, but she struggled to reconcile her religious background with the freedoms of 1960s Geneva and her partner’s liberal and secular beliefs. So, when Firouzeh was born, the couple returned to Iran. Shortly after, the 1979 revolution happened and Iran shifted from a secular nation to an Islamic Republic. Tayi drifts further apart from her bohemian husband, eventually becoming a devout religious activist. Using evocative found footage, haunting images and love letters, and recreated images of the family home, Firouzeh tells the story of her parents’ lives – a metaphor for Iran’s recent history.