In a desert, on a hill, men and women in chadors and children are wandering in a vast open air ‘museum’ dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war. This is the Iranian New Year, we are close to the Iraqi border. I’m following my guide. He’s tall and charismatic. His name is Nader Malek-Kandi. For almost three years, I’ve decided to immerse myself in the very heart of the most extremist supporters of the Islamic republic of Iran (the bassidjis), to better understand their paradigms. We are from the same country, however everything divides us. I can only hurt their convictions being an atheist Iranian, living in France, and son of communist activists under the Shah’s regime. Nevertheless, we engage in a dialog. But, between seduction and rhetoric games, moments of truth and the reality of the political and religious system they support, how far are we ready to give up some of our respective convictions to perceive and understand one another? Mehran Tamadon
Mehran Tamadon is Iranian architect and filmmaker arrived in France as a boy of 12, in 1984. In 2000 he returned to Iran, working there for four years as an architect. Since 2002 his career has taken a distinctly artistic turn as a filmmaker. In 2004 he made his first documentary Behesht Zahra, Mothers of Martyrs, in 2009 he made his first feature-length documentary Bassidji, selected for numerous international festivals, at 2010 ZagrebDox as well. With Iranian he continues his unique approach of engaging in a dialogue with actors of the Iranian regime.
Iran, France, Switzerland
2009, 114', color, 35 mm
Mehran Tamadon, Leatitia Lemerie
Festivals & Awards:
Jilhlava International Documentary Film Festival - Opus Bonum Award