2011 | Iran/Germany | 102 min. | Not Rated
Co-written + Directed by Negar Azarbayjani
In her feature film debut, Negar Azarbayjani has crafted a captivating account of a friendship forged across the divides of class, faith, and gender identity.
Rana (Shakeri) is a traditional wife and mother, forced to pay of her incarcerated husband’s debt and support herself and her young son by driving a taxi—which is not a common form of employment for an Iranian woman. Adineh (Iranim) is a young Iranian woman recently returned from a life outside the country, only to face an unwanted arranged marriage engineered by her father. In her efforts to flee, Adineh hires Rana to drive her far outside of Tehran where she plans on meeting a friend who will be delivering her passport. Originally reluctant to take the fare, Rana only agrees when offered a large sum of money by the wealthy Adineh.
During their journey, Adineh—who prefers to be called Eddie—reveals her predicament and her motives for fleeing to Germany where she had already begun a sex reassignment process before being tricked into returning home to Iran. Horrified by this revelation, Rana tries to get away, but a twist of fate binds her to Adineh, forcing Rana to confront her prejudice.
Through strong and nuanced performances that never feel overly sentimental or one-dimensional, Facing Mirrors is a gritty, minimalist and engaging tale. – Patrick Hubley
Principal Cast: Shayesteh Iranim, Nima Shahrokh, Qazal Shakeri, Homayoun Ershadi
Winner: Jury Award for Best Film – Montreal World Film Festival
Official Selection: Washington DC International Film Festival; Frameline: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival