Films / Facing Mirrors
Iran | Narrative Feature | 2011 | 101 min | Website
Director: Negar Azarbayjani
Awards: Best Feature Film-Frameline Film Festival, SF, Circle Jury Award-Washington DC film Festival
Farsi w/English subtitles
Film source: The Film Collaborative
The first narrative film from Iran to feature a transgender main character, Azarbayjani’s Facing Mirrors is a story of an unlikely and daring friendship that develops despite social norms and traditional beliefs. Rana, inexperienced, religious, and bound by traditions, drives a cab in order to survive financially and pay off the debt that keeps her husband in prison. By chance, she picks up Adineh, wealthy yet rebellious, who’s on the run and desperately awaiting the passport he needs to leave the country. When Rana learns that her wealthy passenger is FTM, conflicts arise. For Rana, comprehending and accepting such reality is close to impossible and equal to surpassing all she believes in and traditions she values. But can they eventually help each other out of their dire situations?
This absorbing and audacious Iranian story from first-time feature director Azarbayjani plays out like a road movie and is highlighted by great performances from its two leads, in particular the feisty Shayesteh Irani (last seen as the frustrated soccer fan in Jafar Panahi’s Offside, shown at VTIFF 2011.)-M.N.