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Radiograph of a Family, Norway/Iran/Switzerland, 2020, documentary, 81 min

Directed by: Firouzeh Khosrovani

In the feature-length documentary Radiograph of a Family (2020), Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani shares with us the personal story of her parents through photographs, archival footage and letters. Their love story takes us from the era of the Shah to the Islamic Revolution and the hardships during the Iran-Iraq War, all the way to their present-day home in Tehran, which becomes a metaphor for the changes in modern Iranian society.

The film won the best feature award at the IDFA 2020, MakeDox 2021 and ZagrebDox 2021 festivals, as well as many other international awards.

The film screening will be followed by a conversation with film director Marija Zidar and Maja Malus Azhdari, the head of the Dokudoc festival, and moderated by film critic Simona Jerala.

“My mother married my father’s photograph in Tehran. He was studying radiology in Switzerland, and for mother to come and live with him, marriage was obligatory. For my mother, with her religious background, living in Europe was a challenge. Sin was everywhere. My father came from a liberal and secular family. He was a lover of culture, fine arts, classical music. My mother never understood how he, for example, could treasure a painting depicting nude bodies.

After I was born, we moved from Switzerland back to Tehran. Shortly after, the Revolution happened and changed everything upside down. My mother found new reason and new identity, an important space for herself: She became a religious activist, school principal and did military training. My father sat quietly in his favorite chair at home and listened to Bach. In our house, there was no more card playing or red wine. My mother‘s prayer mat and my prayer mat were placed next to each other in the living room, by the window. Photographs of women without hijab were ripped apart. My mother censored the past – while my father dreamt of a different future.

I was torn between my two parents. Our family was split. For a little girl, it was difficult and painful. As my identity developed, I carried both of them inside me. I still do, to this day. I am the result of Iran ‘s struggle between tradition and modernization.

My story is told through photographs, archival footage, letters and voices. Our home in Tehran becomes a metaphor of the shifts in our family, hence in modern Iranian society.”

Organisation: Kino Šiška, DOKUDOC Maribor and MITRA, the Association for the Development of Audiovisual Culture and Intercultural Dialogue.