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  7. (Preview) Shahid

(Preview) Shahid

Narges Kalhor , Germany 2024, 84 Min., OV with English subs, DCP
Followed by a talk with Narges Kalhor

A wildly clever film that’s part reality, part fiction, part theatre and part musical. Director Narges Shahid Kalhor directs an actor playing a version of herself. She doesn’t want to be called “Shahid” (martyr) anymore, and is determined to change her name. Then, her heroic great-grandfather turns up – given the title of martyr 100 years ago in Iran – from whom his descendants inherited the name. He wants to dissuade his great-granddaughter, and shadows her in her quest along with his dancing friends. The Bavarian district administration sends her to a psychologist, who also has a difficult name… In the end, everyone is hindered: the director by bureaucracy, the actor by the director’s demands, her great-grandfather by his descendant’s determination and the film by itself. The winds of history blow her round and round in circles, through the scenic German town and through her own film shoot, as stereotypes and privileges are shaken up performatively and inventively, all while having a lot of fun along the way. Ambiguous autofiction with visual arcs, songs and poems: a tragicomic, defiant act of self-empowerment in exile. (Berlinale)

Narges Kalhor, born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran. She studied directing and visual communication. In 2009, she applied for political asylum in Germany while in the country for a festival. Her graduation film In the Name of Scheherazade premiered at the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon and was awarded the Goethe Institut’s prize for best documentary film at DOK Leipzig.