Indian filmmaker Sreemoyee Singh’s journey to Iran interweaves the censorship imposed upon filmmakers with the restrictions women face in their daily lives.
Initially inspired by her doctoral thesis and the poetry of Forogh Farrokhzad, Sreemoyee Singh’s film uses frank and moving interviews with filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Shirvani to explore the lives of women in Iran, under a regime that has dismissed the idea of femininity by erasing a woman’s body, forbidding women to sing, and forbidding desire. Shot over six years, Singh’s film successfully interweaves a celebration of Iran’s cinema and culture with perceptive portraits of activists such as human rights campaigner Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has continually fought for women’s freedoms and rights. And just as Farrokhzad brought a poetry and lyricism to the one film she made, 1963’s The House Is Black
, so Singh’s performance of a traditional Persian song stands as a moment of profound beauty and solidarity.