© Camino Filmverleih GmbH

Teheran Tabu
Austria/Germany 2016

Opening 16 Nov 2017

Directed by: Ali Soozananden
Writing credits: Ali Soozananden
Principal actors: Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, Elmira Rafizadeh, Arash Marandi, Bilal Yasar

This is a daring graphic novel animation set in the chaotic streets of Tehran, where we see three self-confident women fighting for their rights in a system of dogmatic regulations. The animation lends itself to unveiling the truths in Tehran by not incriminating anyone in real life, since it contains shocking and sensitive scenes such as giving head in a moving car and searching for a hymen replacement for a woman who had premarital sex. This films dives deep into an underworld of taboos in Iranian culture including prostitution, drugs, and abortions, but, at the same time, tries to give these woman respect for attempting to survive in a place that does not give woman a chance to be equal.

One of the characters is a mute child of the prostitute who witnesses the abuse around him and tries to make sense of it. His innocence makes the viewer emphasize with the characters around him. We see how little freedom women have and how they are determined to get around the system even if it causes them to jump off a building. The story is complex, but brilliantly told, as we follow one character crossing the path of another and then another until all the characters have inter-connected to each other in some way. Does it help them achieve their desired goals in the end? This is a wonderful film takes us into an unknown world of Iran and tries to reveal its complexities and contractions in the society.  (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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