Terrestrial Verses (Ayeh haye zamini)
A series of snapshots featuring ordinary Iranians as they navigate the cultural, religious, and institutional constraints imposed on them by various social authorities, from schoolteachers to bureaucrats. These stirring vignettes, humorous and affecting, capture the spirit and determination of people amidst adversity, offering a nuanced portrait of a complex society.
Blurring the boundary between documentary and fiction, these vignettes explore the small and often surprising ways in which individuals assert their personal autonomy. An eloquent, perceptive, and at times comedic look at the tensions between everyday Iranians and institutional power.
Accessible from 16 and over
- Sadaf Asgari
- Ardeshir Kazemi
- Gohar Kheirandish
- Ali Asgari
- Alireza Khatami
- Adib Sobhani
- Alireza Alavian
- Masoud Fayaz Zadeh
- Seven Springs Pictures
- Taat Films
Trailer and photos
“These nine stories give off a powerful cumulative effect as we see the petty bureaucracies and paper-pushing quotidian blocks to working-class life unfold and whittle these people down.”
Born in Tehran, Ali Asgari is a director, writer, and producer known for films which focus on the lives of Iranians living at the margins of society. Two of his shorts were nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
- Terrestrial Verses (co-directed with Alireza Khatami) 2023
- My Name is Aseman (short) 2023
- Over Mij (short) 2022
Alireza Khatami is an Iranian-American director, writer, and producer based in Canada whose 2017 feature debut, Oblivion Verses, won three awards at the 74th Venice International Festival.
- Terrestrial Verses (co-directed with Ali Asgari) 2023
- Oblivion Verses 2017
- Mr. Chang’s New Address (short) 2014