The Queen and I

Nahid Persson Sarvestani, Sweden / Egypt / France / Germany / USA, 2008, color, HDcam, 89'
Synopsis

In her award-winning documentary Prostitution Behind the Veil, about two Iranian prostitutes, Nahid expressed fierce criticism of the position of women in her native country. This drove the Islamic regime to accuse the leftist filmmaker of monarchist sympathies, whereas she helped depose the shah during the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s. In reaction to these reprimands, Nahid decided to make a film about Farah, the last Iranian queen, who lives abroad like herself. This led to a fascinating encounter between two women with clashing political visions who develop an improbable friendship in the two years of their association. Nahid expressly appears onscreen together with the queen and talks about the problems she has run into in the voice-over. Out of sympathy and for fear that the now 70-year-old Farah will refuse further cooperation, she does't dare ask the queen any truly confronting questions about the shah's regime. These are interesting questions that bring to light a number of dilemmas every documentary filmmaker must contend with. To what extent do you let your documentary subjects impose their will on you, and to what extent do you comply with the image people want to create of themselves?

IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

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