28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Shahrzaad's Tale
Shahrzaad's Tale
Shahrzaad's Tale
Shahrzaad's Tale
Shahrzaad's Tale

Shahrzaad's Tale

director: Shahin Parhami
original title: Ghesseye Shahrzad
country: Canada
year: 2015
running time: 129 min.


In the 1960s and ’70s, actress, director, dancer, and poet Kobra Amin-Sa’idi, who performed under the pseudonym Shahrzaad, was a leading figure of the Iranian New Wave and a symbol of the struggle for social change. Following the 1979 revolution, however, she was forced into seclusion and today just barely manages to scrape by. Parhami’s film is not a typical documentary portrait, but a moving meditative work in which the filmmaker is open about his interventions in the film and in which he makes room for a group of young female protagonists to hold their own interviews with the famous artist. Her emotional responses are not filled with resignation, but are a call for more engagement.

“So she became like herself
Hardly fit into her own skin
Dust covers her face
As it might a stone
Inscribed with a legend,
and her tale passed heart to heart...”


Iranian-Canadian director/producer Shahin Parhami is known primarily for his poetic documentaries about artists who for cultural, political or financial reasons cannot take full advantage of their creative abilities. Two of his best-received previous works are the experimental documentary Faces (2007), which was dedicated to Iranian artists living in Canada, and his portrait of a nomadic musician, Amin (2010).

more about film

director: Shahin Parhami
cast: Kobra Amin Sa'idi (Shahrzaad), Pouri Banaii
producer: Shahin Parhami, Bob Moore
script: Shahin Parhami
photography: Shahin Parhami
editing: Shahin Parhami
sound: Kourosh Godarzi
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas