Terrestrial Verses

Ali Asgari, Alireza Khatami

Alireza Khatami and Ali Asgari co-direct a powerful compilation of nine encounters of ordinary Iranians with authority. Terrestrial Verses follows people from all walks of life as they navigate the cultural, religious, and institutional constraints imposed on them.

A little girl barely tolerating a saleswoman as she’s fitted for her school uniform: a child-sized abaya and veil, covering up her Mickey Mouse T-shirt. A teenage girl interrogated by her school principal, who believes she was seen riding on a motorbike with a boy. A young woman accused of driving without her hijab. A middle-aged man enduring pointless humiliations as he applies for a menial job. An older woman asking a police officer to help her find her beloved lost dog. A filmmaker ordered to rip chunks out of his screenplay to meet the censor’s demands. An uncomfortable young woman being interviewed for a position by an evidently predatory company boss in a hotel room. 

During all these scenes, we as the audience are placed in the position of the authority figure, who remains off screen. This gives the excellent cast a chance to shine, unanimously delivering tour-de-force performances where every nuance and every flicker of expression counts.  


Ali Asgari, Alireza Khatami
Ali Asgari, Milad Khosravi
Country of production
77 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Taat Films
World Sales
Films Boutique
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution