IRAN / 2019 / Persian / Color / Digital File / 64 min
Director, Editing, Sound, Sound Design: Arash Eshaghi
Photography: XAria Azadravesh
Producer: Tala Azadravesh
World Sales: Venera Films
An eighty-year-old man leads a rural life, raising cattle and tending his fields. Upon finishing work he dresses as a woman, carefully applying makeup, and beginning to dance. The Iranian Revolution has forbidden dancing—once upon a time, he would have taken his performance on tour, or danced with his musician friends at cabarets. His sons, who have left home to lead their own lives, understand and support him. However, the man lives alone with his wife, who is fed up with this passion of his. Fondly cherishing glorious memories from before the revolution, he lives to dance: visiting the sick in hospitals and at weddings—or contentedly in his barn, surrounded by his beloved cattle.
[Director’s Statement] As dancing is a symbol of joy and happiness, I looked for a character whose life was all about dancing. It was obviously very hard to find such a character because dancing was forbidden after the 1979 Revolution, and this character was one of the few remaining pre-revolution dancers.
As I mentioned, dancing is forbidden in Iran and it is very hard to work on forbidden subjects. It is much harder for women dancers, so I looked for a man who played the role of women. Dancing of women was considered very improper and deplorable and women were not allowed to display themselves. Therefore, men replaced women in many cases not only limited to dancing. Men would dress up like women to dance in ceremonies and gatherings. But dancing was banned after the 1979 Revolution not only for women, but also for the cross-dresser men. I was faced with a forbidden subject and a character who’d become depressed because of this ban.
Born 1976 in Iran, graduated from Allame Tabatabei University, majoring in literature. Arash has two decades experience in film directing, researching, writing, editing, and sound.