Forbidden stories from Iran on India tourJan 25th, 2009 | By editor | Category: Most Popular
New Delhi (PTI): Iranian filmmaker-cum-writer Lila Chobandy on her maiden visit to India brings with her stories of women who bore the excess of the 1979 revolution.
Chobandy’s debut film, “The Forbidden Sundance” explores life of women artists in erstwhile Iran who participated in the fight for democracy and were forced either to abandon their vocation or else flee the country.
The filmmaker was in the capital recently to participate in the film festival “Human Rights in Frames,” which looks at various political issues and human rights violations across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Chobandy, who is in her late 20s and currently lives in Canada, says, “Life is difficult for women in Iran and through this film I wanted to show that people in my generation are totally disconnected with the struggles of women who became the victims of the revolution.”
In the 32-minute film, Chobandy chronicles the life of Aram Bayat, choreographer and folk dance instructor who fled to Canada when performing dances were banned after the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Aram along with other artists who had helped to shape the revolution for more rights and who resisted the censorship and rules of the new regime were either executed, jailed or forced to seek exile.
“Through this documentary I have tried to tell the life story of Aram who after being fired, moved to Canada over 30 years ago. There are a lot of women who had to flee Iran and settle elsewhere,” says Chobandy who worked as a journalist in Iran before moving to Canada over 7 years ago.
50-year-old Aram who accompanied Chobandy to the capital says, “My contemporaries just gave up their arts or moved out. Some of them just vanished from the performing field and about others I really don’t know what happened to them.”
Even though “Forbidden Sundance” is her first independent film she had worked with director Moslem Mansouri, who is a part of the underground film movement of Iran and had won the Best Documentary Award at the Tribenca Film Festival in 2003.
“Mansouri who has been exiled from Iran and now lives in the US is among the filmmakers and students who are part of the underground network which seeks to highlight human rights issues,” says the filmmaker.
She has assisted in making documentaries like “Utopia” and “Epitaph” which deal with Iranian sex-trade workers.
Both Chobandy and Aram are touring the country with their film which will be screened at Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata in the travelling festival.