Iran: A Country Shrouded in Mystery

These days it seems like Iran is only noted for its complicated political situation. Yet, this country boasts a unique culture, rich history, and even its own notable filmmakers. In our special selection of Iranian films, you’ll find works by prominent Iranian creatives that reflect the current events in their society, all whilst revealing personal stories and cultural differences.

Setting a strong personal story against the backdrop of political events is Born in Evin by Iranian actress and director Maryam Zaree. Evin to this day remains one of the cruellest prisons in Iran. It also happens to be the birthplace of Maryam herself, who was born there in the 1980s after her parents were imprisoned for political reasons. The director breaks a long family silence; and after more than 30 years, she sets off on a quest to discover her own personal history.

Present-day Iran along with its current events are recorded by another Iranian actress — this time in the format of a video diary addressed to her boyfriend living in exile. Director Ali Razi in Things We Do Not Say draws attention to the controversial presidential elections in 2009, which sparked massive protests and civil unrest.

In our special selection of Iranian documentaries, you’ll also find two films by Farahnaz Sharifi ⁠— one of the most successful documentary filmmakers in Iran. Her latest film, Missing, follows the stories of missing persons and explores what’s left of them in present-day society.

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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