Tehran Taboo

Ali Soozandeh

Animated film in which the lives of three women and a young man intersect in the schizophrenic society of Teheran, the capital city of Iran. Everything prohibited and taboo – sex, drugs, adultery and corruption – lurks behind the illusory façade of the strict Islamic country.

In his debut film as a director, Iranian-German director Ali Soozandeh is fiercely critical of his homeland Iran – which was precisely why he could not make his film in Teheran. To provide the clearest possible impression of the city its life, he uses animations and rotoscopic techniques, in which scenes are recorded using actors and then drawn as animations.

Soozandeh tells the stories of four people who all cross paths at some point. We meet Pari, a single mother who works as a prostitute in order to take care of her infant son. Her drug addicted husband is in prison; she would love to divorce him, but the Sharia laws do not allow it. Her neighbour is Sara, unhappy and pregnant, who is trying to escape the yoke of her oppressive husband and his parents. And then there are the young musician Barak and the soon-to-be bride Donya. They had a one-night stand, but now Donya can no longer prove her virginity to her future husband. She wants to have expensive surgery to restore her hymen to an intact state. Barak is supposed to pay, but he has no idea where he would get the money.



Ali Soozandeh
Country of production
Germany, Austria
Animation, Fiction
96 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Little Dream Entertainment GmbH
World Sales
Celluloid Dreams