My Stolen Revolution

(Iran, Sweden, 2013, 75 mins, HDCAM)
Canadian Premiere
PROD/SCR Nahid Persson Sarvestani
CAM Nicklas Karpaty, M-Ebrahimi
ED Emil Engerdahl
PROD CO RealReel doc AB
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Iran-born, Sweden-based director Nahid Persson Sarvestani (Prostitution: Behind the Veil) was a member of the Communist Party and an anti-Shah activist before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Following the revolution, the better-organized Islamists cracked down on other parties, jailing and executing thousands. With arrest imminent, Nahid was able to flee the country and find political asylum in Sweden, but her younger brother Rostam, whom she initiated into politics, was not so lucky. After six months of imprisonment, he was executed at the age of 17. Still haunted by his fate, Nahid begins My Stolen Revolution in the hope of finding out more about his last days.

As part of her quest, Nahid tracks down five female activists who, like her, were stalwarts of Iran’s Communist Party in the late 1970s. These strong, resilient women—Parvaneh Aref, Nazli Partovi, Soudabeh Ardavan, Monireh Baradaran and Azar Al Kanaan—spent years suffering physical and mental tortures in the prisons of the Islamic regime. During a long weekend at Nahid’s home, they share gripping accounts of their horrifying experiences. Descriptions of how their jailers tried to break their spirit, and turn them into collaborators, are especially chilling. Archival footage and photos along with artwork created by the women poignantly illustrate their recollections in this highly personal, emotional documentary.

Preceded By: For the Birds

DIR Tara Atashgah / USA, 2013, 14 min.

A young woman is brought to the main square of a small town in modern day Iran to be hanged for adultery. Horrified, the townspeople look away. She begs for help and, at the last minute, her appeal seem to be answered by young man. Inspired by a true story.

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