11 documentary films about Iran

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    From coming-of-age stories to revolutionary politics, the Iranian documentary films in the IDFA Collection show a wide range of perspectives on the Middle Eastern nation, taking the country's rich cinematic tradition in surprising new directions.

    Who's who of Iranian documentary cinema

    Award-winning directors Firouzeh Khosrovani and Mehrdad Oskouei flex their filmmaking signatures with explorations of womanhood and cultural expectations, while debut features from emerging filmmakers look to prize fighting bulls and war photography, among other subjects. Portrait films, docu-fiction, and interviews are just the tip of the iceberg.

    From the festival to your home cinema

    The following films screened in our festival cinemas in Amsterdam, starting in the early 2000s. Now, like many IDFA films, they find a home in the IDFA Collection, where you can stream them on demand for free or a small contribution. So, without further ado, watch 11 unforgettable films about Iran below.

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    • Mohammad Ali Hashemzehi
    • 2011

      In the scorching desert of Balochistan, where only the wind drowns out the sluggish roaring of the dromedaries, shepherd Kannar contemplates his love-hate relationship with his favorite dromedary. 

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      Barre's Silence

      • Morvarid Peyda, Mehrdad Ahmadpour
      • 2013

        Inhabitants of a remote Iranian village speculate and argue about the performance of their local pride and joy, Barre the fighting bull.

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        Fest of Duty

        • Firouzeh Khosrovani
        • 2014

          For Muslims, puberty begins at the age of nine, and from that moment on girls wear the hijab. What’s been happening in the lives of two Iranian girls since this important event?

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          The Green Wave

          • Ali Samadi Ahadi
          • 2010

            Animated blogs and tweets from Iran form the backbone of this enlightening and sometimes shocking reconstruction of the 2009 Green Revolution.

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            Nose, Iranian Style

            • Mehrdad Oskouei
            • 2005

              Why are nose jobs so hyped in Iran and what does it say about Iranian youth and society?

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              Of Shame and Coffins

              • Maziar Bahari
              • 2001

                While HIV-infected people in Kwazulu-Natal keep silent about their disease for fear of expulsion, abuse and murder, the undertakers continue to prosper.

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                Revolutionary Memories of Bahman Who Loved Leila

                • Farahnaz Sharifi
                • 2012

                  With the help of photos and in voice-over, Bahman tells of his deadly desire for life, love and protest during the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

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                  The Silent Majority Speaks

                  • The Silent Collective
                  • 2010

                    Amateur footage of protests following the recent elections form the heart of this documentary on a hundred years of resistance against authoritarian Iranian rulers.

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                    • Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami
                    • 2016

                      Illegally living in Tehran, an 18-year old Afghani refugee named Sonita dreams of being a rapper in this exciting document of her search for her own path in life. 

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                      Stronger than a Bullet

                      • Maryam Ebrahimi
                      • 2017

                        Former war photographer Saeid Sadeghi looks back remorsefully at how the heroic images he produced lured countless, often very young soldiers to the battlefields of the Iran–Iraq War.

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                        Tehran Has No More Pomegranates!

                        • Massoud Bakhshi
                        • 2006

                          Intelligently edited, hilarious, hurtling, musical compilation of archive footage and newly-shot images offers critical and unadorned portrait of Iranian capital Tehran.

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