Focus Iran, Réal Nathalie Masduraud et Valérie Urréa, Terra Luna Films, Harbor Films, Darjeeling, ARTE France, farsi, VOSTA, 54 min, 2017.
Focus Iran (Iran Paradox) is a quite instructive and sensitive film about being a women artist-photographer in Iran for the last twenty years. We know little about the conditions veiled women (an obligation for all of them) can work and take photos in the streets, in public spaces or else, in the country side alone in Arab countries, without any protection. Each one of these four women iraninan artstis, Newsha Tavakolian, Solmaz Daryani, Shadi Ghadirian and Tahmineh Monzavi find their way to build up a true body of works, with an immense artistic inventivity. The fifth and male photographer covered in this documentary, Abbas Kowsari, shows how he is also somehow subject to censorship. Nevertheless, it is amazing to feel how the camera brought to each of them extra freedom, how therefor they can develop an image that speaks about identity, culture and tension between tradition and modernity. The film also gives view on the motivations, the journey of these photographers and their forceful determination.
Des cinq photographes suivis dans ce film, quatre sont des femmes, toutes reconnues internationalement : Solmaz Daryani, Shadi Ghadirian, Tahmineh Monzavi et Newsha Tavakolian. Elles utilisent l’image pour évoquer notamment leur statut de femme et leur place dans la société iranienne. En contrepoint, Abbas Kowsari, lui, interroge celle du masculin. Dans leur travail photographique, tous contournent la censure avec habileté et humour.
This documentary has been shown at FIFA Montréal, the National Gallery in Singapour, the Somerset House during Photo London and is due to be shown in the National Museum of Erevan (Armenia), on top of several presentations in France.
About the artists, we know that Tamineh Monzavi is in Residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris untill October 2018. We also know that Anahita Ghabaian, director of the Silk Road Gallery in Teheran (present in the film and important support to these artists) will be present at Paris Photo (7-11 November 2018).