“Just let him know you have a new idea, something about your homeland, something political,” is the advice offered by a friend to filmmaker Narges Kalhor as she tries to complete her graduation film. Her despair about the project is due to the input of the white male commissioning editor whose comments as voiceover continually interrupt the film. As he puts it, he would like the film to be closer to the audience’s usual “viewing habits”, demanding that “stories from the homeland” be included here and there, as well as images of refugees or “something not so complicated”. The resulting film is many films in one, with the viewers witness to the editorial process along the way. With a joyful sense of anarchy and humor, Kalhor combines a range of different stories to create a mockumentary, which doesn’t ultimately take the editor’s comments so seriously after all. (CS)
Narges Kalhor was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1984. In 2009, she applied for political asylum in Germany and in 2010, she started studying at the Munich Film University. Shahid, her latest film, will premiere at the 74th Berlinale in 2024.