The film programme “Covered Memories” presents topics and stories about society and women’s rights in Iran. The selected films are dedicated to the people who, despite punitive social and political forces, show that Iranian women continue to persevere in the face of adversity. “Covered” reflects both the physical coverings imposed on women and also the self-censorship inherent in Iranian culture that affects their daily life. “Memories” on the other hand, reflects the profound history of women as protagonists in Iranian culture, not merely as objects of male oppression, but as artists, philosophers, scientists, leaders and active forces in world history. (Afsun Moshiry, curator)
In a virtual conversation, the film directors FARHAD DELARAM, VIDA DENA, AZADEH MOUSAVI, and AYAT NAJAFI share their thoughts on society, and women’s rights in Iran. They give insights into their perspectives, hopes and wishes for an other future.
Shiva Sadegh Assadi’s beautifully animated film, Maned & Macho (2017), is about an adolescent girl whose repressed emotions and instincts are embodied in animals that come from her dreams as her family is receptive to her feelings in real life.
The film When the Kid was a Kid (2009) by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, explores the perspective of a young boy towards his mother. Taha, a ten-year-old, is involved in a play in which children imitate their parents’ roles. Living with his divorced mother, Taha understands new things about his mom by playing her role.
In her intimate and personal film Ayan and the White Balloon (2015), Vida Dena explores the social complications she experiences upon her visit to Iran. She re-enacts a typical stop-and-search and plays through different variants. She also reflects on questions of origin and strangers.
In Tattoo (2018), Farhad Delaram documents the significant hardships a young woman faces when applying for an extension of her driver’s license. This procedure results in multiple degrading interrogations due only to the fact that she has tattoos. The growing uneasiness of the protagonist is worked out throughout the film with clinical precision. Farhad Delaram is also a Young Academy fellow in the artist-in-residence-programme at the Akademie der Künste.
From filmmaker Azadeh Mousavi comes The Visit (2019), a striking snapshot of a woman’s attempt to visit her husband, who is a political prisoner in an Iranian prison.
Ayat Najafi’s feature-length documentary No Land’s Song (2014) shows the struggles his sister Sarah Najafi faced as a composer trying to organise a public concert in Tehran with only female singers, which is prohibited under Iranian law. The documentary poses the question whether women will ever be successful in singing freely, together, side by side, in front of a mixed audience, without restrictions or interference.
Concept Space: Afsun Moshiry
Editing: Sepand Saedi, Afsun Moshiry
Editorial: Fateme Nekounam, Stephanie Rushton