Stories of Iran’s past and present intersect in Rakhshan Banietemad’s reflective, absorbing and personal portrait of how political life shapes infant’s lives.
Banietemad’s daughter Baran was a young child in the 1980s when Iran and Iraq were engaged in a long and bloody war. Tehran was one of the many Iranian cities bombarded by Iraqi munitions. Taking her to school each day, often after a night interrupted by the sounds of explosions, Banietemad’s wondered what Baran made of the conflict. And how did the school’s compassionate principal, Mahnaz, deal with questions from children who have no concept of the violence unfolding at their country’s border? Over two decades later, as demonstrations against the previous year’s election results and dissatisfaction with the Ahmadinejad government was escalating into a pro-democracy movement, the filmmaker returned to the school to speak with Mahnaz.