Tehrant | Movie Threat

CINEQUEST FILM FESTIVAL 2022 REVIEW! The avant-garde romantic comedy from director/co-writer Faran Moradi, Tehrantmixes the angst of dating with the strict class and religious rules in the Iranian expat community in Toronto, Canada.

Badi (Sammy Azero) is a young medical student striving to rise above his family’s blue-collar status. Sharon (Mo Zeighami) is a young woman who ostensibly follows her mother’s desire to become a real estate agent. But, in fact, Sharon rather wishes to pursue her art. She is a brilliant painter, but this does not meet the potential income needs of her wealthy family. When Badi and Sharon meet, they clash over what it means to be Iranian in Canada and whether Toronto is their home. Badi has a passionate desire to return to Iran, but the place he describes is a pre-revolution country he never knew and which no longer exists.

“When Badi and Sharon meet, they clash what it means to be iranian in canada…”

There are also divisions in the Persian community around language and religion, which gives their romance a Romeo and Juliet feel. The couple find a way through their differences to reach a place of intense attraction for each other, but the culture clash comes to a head the night Sharon brings Badi home for dinner to meet her parents. . Not to mention Badi’s friends, who are debauched young men, starting life overconfident and brash, a mode familiar to all cultures. In contrast, Sharon’s friends are women who want to know what the boyfriend can provide financially. Sharon’s beloved grandmother seems to be the only one feeling compassion.

Tehrant would be a more or less boilerplate romantic comedy where the woman’s father disapproves of her choice of lovers, except for Persian cultural immersion. However, instead of being boring, the comfortable familiarity of the structure provides a basis for understanding the nuances of a non-North American culture and the hardships experienced by displaced communities. All of this is done against the backdrop of Persian music, clothing and silliness to lighten the mood. Additionally, there is a somewhat clumsy narrator (Navid Negahban) who in some cases can be overheard by the characters.

With Tehrant, Moradi captured something special. The filmmaker offers us, to us viewers, a window on lives other than our own by highlighting people facing all too familiar challenges, imbued with an unknown culture. It also paints a picture of the generational effects of immigration and the torture of having to decide if you can really go home.

Tehrant projected to 2022 Cinequest Film Festival.

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