Arusi Persian Wedding 2008
Distributed by Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013; 212-925-0606
Directed by Marjan Tehrani
DVD, color, 88 min.
College - Adult
American Studies, International Studies, Multicultural Studies, Sociology, Travel and Tourism
Date Entered: 05/15/2009Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
In 2005, when her brother and sister-in-law decide to go to Iran to get married in a Persian wedding ceremony, Iranian-American documentary filmmaker Marjan Tehrani went along. The film she made as a result of the trip chronicles not only the visit and wedding ceremony but also the complexity of Iranian and American relations during the past half century.
Although born and raised in the United States, Marjan and her brother Alex always felt the tug of their father’s homeland. What makes the intercultural marriage story of Alex and Heather, his American wife, unique is the weight of the intense political history these two countries have shared. Filmed during a time of increasing tension between the two countries, when only Iran remained on President George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” list, the young people decide to make the trip before the political situation deteriorates any further. Once there, they discover the beauty of the country and the friendliness of its people, while also recognizing the differences as well as the realities.
The film combines personal diary with travelogue with visits to Tehran, Abiyaneh, and Esfahan, and a straightforward summary of the troubled political history of Iran and the United States. Skillfully directed and edited, the film includes archival photographs and newsreel footage that further reveal this story as one of complicated personal identity and nationhood. Recommended.