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Terrestrial Verses film image

Terrestrial Verses

Ayeh Haye Zamini

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Nine stories from contemporary Iran, where everyone is at the mercy of government and religious authorities… Different settings and circumstances, with characters varying in age, gender, class and status… But all linked by the ubiquitous impact of patriarchy on everyone, including the unborn. In Alireza Khatami and Ali Asgari’s Terrestrial Verses, we see nine encounters between everyday Iranians interrogated by some manner of authority figure. These static vignettes place the audience in the position of the interviewer, the camera subverting the position of the subject and allowing the spectator to examine (and occupy) a point of view that is both uncomfortable and unjust.  The film’s title is a reference to the famous Iranian female poet Forough Farrokhzad, who challenged oppression and patriarchy in her personal life and her poetry. Terrestrial Verses is an audacious and beautiful film, especially in the context of the Women Life-Freedom movement, as it portrays the people and situations of everyday life in Iran with humor and masterful cinematography.

Elegant, eloquent and unwavering in its determination to reveal the plight of the individual Iranians it showcases…
AWFJ (Alliance of Women Film Journalists)


September 29 & October 1: Q&A with co-director Alireza Khatami & crew


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Bahram Ark, Arghavan Shabani, Servin Zabetian, Sadaf Asgari, Faezeh Rad

Country of Origin







In Farsi with English subtitles

Film Contact
77 min
Drama Human Rights & Social Justice

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Ali Asgari, Milad Khosravi


Ali Asgari, Alireza Khatami


Adib Sobhani


Ehsan Vaseghi

Production Design

Hamed Alsani

Original Music

Masoud Fayaz Zadeh


Ali Asgari headshot

Ali Asgari

Ali Asgari is a prominent Iranian cinema figure with more than 200 awards to his name. Two of his short films, More Than Two Hours (2013) and The Silence (2016), were nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes. The Baby was featured in the short film competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2014. Ali’s films focus on the precarious lives of individuals living on the margins of society in Iran. His debut film, Disappearance had its world premiere at Venice in 2017. Until Tomorrow, his second feature film, premiered at the Berlinale in 2022.

Filmography: Disappearance (2017); Until Tomorrow (2022)

Alireza Khatami headshot

Alireza Khatami

Alireza Khatami is an award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker based in Canada. Born into the indigenous Khamse tribe in Iran, he is influenced by his heritage’s rich storytelling traditions. His films poignantly investigate the interconnection of memory, trauma, and power dynamics, often through a philosophical lens and with a dark sense of humor. His debut feature, Oblivion Verses, premiered at the Venice Film Festival, winning three awards, including the Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay and the FIPRESCI Prize. Alireza also co-wrote Until Tomorrow, which premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival.

Filmography: Oblivion Verses (2017)

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