THE QUEEN AND I/LIBERATION
When Nahid Persson Sarvestani, an Iranian exile, set out to make a documentary about Farrah, the wife of the shah of Iran, she expected to encounter her opposite. As a child, Persson Sarvestani had lived in dire poverty, watching Farrahs wedding as if it were a fairy tale. As a teenager, she joined the Communist faction of Khomeinis revolution that deposed the shah, sending him and his family volleying from country to country. When Khomeini betrayed his promise for democracy, imposing more violent measures than the shah had, Persson Sarvestani was also forced to flee.
Thirty years later, she needs key questions answered and goes directly to the source. Surprisingly, Queen Farrah welcomes her as a fellow refugee from their beloved homeland, granting unprecedented access. Over the next year and a half, Persson Sarvestani enters the queens world, planning to challenge the shahs ideology; instead, she must rethink her own. When Persson Sarvestanis prior opposition to the shah surfaces, the queen shuts down filming. Yet, in the struggle to understand each others experiences, an unlikely friendship has blossomed. Confronting Farrah about the shahs repression has become not only a political conflict but a personal one, and Persson Sarvestanis objectivity is shaken.In this gripping, poignant consideration of subjectivity as truth, we learn that people write history. And can also heal it. The Queen and I couldnt be more relevant today.
SPECIAL SHORT FILM SCREENING BEFORE THE FEATURE:
In 1979, the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the country's Islamic
Revolution. Forced into exile, he settled in an isolated mansion in
Cuernevaca, Mexico and watched as his empire collapsed on television. A
powerful examination of dictatorship and its psychological effects on a man,
LIBERATION explores a key turning point in Middle-East History and the
origins of the Iran we know today.
Los Angeles natives Justin and Michael Younesi attended the University of
Southern California, where their work was awarded The Barbara Corday
Scholarship, the Louis J. Favara Scholarship and the Panavision New
Filmmaker Award. Coming from a family in the fashion business, they impose a
strong aesthetic vision on their projects, many of which explore historical
and political events. In 2009, they were featured in the Anthology Film
Archives New Filmmakers Series.
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