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Tehran Taboo

TEHRAN TABOO, which was filmed with rotoscoped images in order to protect the cast, is about the lives of young people living in Tehran whose private lives are in conflict with the system.


After watching TEHRAN TABOO, you want to pack your suitcase and go to the city for yourself, that‘s how fascinating the city is in the film. But the stories being told aren‘t easy. Mainly told through the eyes of 5 year old mute Elias, we observe a quartet of young people in Tehran whose lives contain as much sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll as many young Berliners, except for the fact that it all has to be done in private, so the religious authorities won‘t see. The authorities play the exact same game, however: Elias mother earns her living with sex work, but also has to be the lover of a judge so she can get a divorce. Her neighbor Sara would like to work again, but can‘t because her husband forbids it. Musician Babak has to find the money to “revirginize“ a woman he had a one night stand with in time for her wedding. They hung 3 adulterers again yesterday.

Passport photos and bureaucracy is a visual motif in the film. The contrast between the people that appear official in public and how they are in private is obvious. The benefits of this system isn‘t apparent and the fear of denunciation stands in opposition to the short moments of help and solidarity of those suffering. In order to protect the protagonists, the German-Austrian coproduction was shot in rotoscope, the technology that Richard Linklater used in A SCANNER DARKLY. The comic-like alienation gives the tough stories a note of transcendence. TEHRAN TABOO shows a world that is far more multifaceted than what you hear about Iran in the news. And there‘s a bit of hope, at least for Elias.

Christian Klose

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland / Österreich 2017, 96 min
Genre: Animation, Sociological Film, Metropolitan Movie
Director: Ali Soozandeh
Author: Ali Soozandeh
DOP: Martin Gschlacht
Montage: Andrea Mertens, Frank Geiger
Music: Ali N. Askin
Distributor: Camino Filmverleih
FSK: 16
Release: 16.11.2017




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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