Best Feature
Annecy International Animated Film Festival
Golden Camera
Cannes Film Festival
Grand Prix
Cannes Film Festival
A transgressive explosion. Delivers a stunning penetration into the very disturbed hidden face of daily life in the Iranian capital.
--Fabien Lamercier, Cineuropa
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Tehran Taboo

In this gorgeously animated drama, the lives of several strong-willed women and a young musician intersect. Their stories reveal the hypocrisies of modern Iranian society, where sex, drugs, and corruption coexist with strict religious law. In the bustling metropolis of Tehran, avoiding prohibitions has become an everyday sport and breaking taboos can be a means of personal emancipation. Nevertheless, women invariably end up on the bottom rung of the social order. A young woman needs an operation to “restore” her virginity. A judge in the Islamic Revolutionary Court exhorts favors from a prostitute in exchange for a favorable ruling. The wife of an imprisoned drug addict is denied the divorce she needs in order to live independently. Making use of rotoscope animation, expat Iranian filmmaker Ali Soozandeh creates a portrait of contemporary Tehran that would be impossible by any other means.

“A beautifully rotoscoped drama with intertwining stories set against the cognitively dissonant clash of Iran’s strict, theocratic society and the every-day realities of sex, drugs and corruption.” – Michael Ordona, Los Angeles Times

“A spellbinding animated journey into the underbelly of Iranian society.” – E. Nina Rothe, The Huffington Post

“Visually striking. This wily account of 20-something Iranians negotiating an assault course of laws and prohibitions to get their kicks fizzes with energy and bad behaviour.” – Wendy Ide, Screen International

“An audacious debut. Explore[s] the highly charged theme of sexual and personal freedom in Iran without salaciousness.” – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

Played at

Town Center 5, 3.09.18 - 3.15.18
Ahrya Fine Arts, 3.09.18 - 3.15.18
Rated NR This film is subtitled This film is subtitled
Runtime: 96 min
Language: Farsi

Director: Ali Soozandeh

  • Nominee, Best Feature, Annecy International Animated Film Festival
  • Nominee, Golden Camera, Cannes Film Festival
  • Nominee, Grand Prix, Cannes Film Festival
FEATURED REVIEW: J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Natural realism has been the holy grail of animation since the 1920s, when Winsor McCay established the art of character animation with his groundbreaking Gertie the Dinosaur cartoons, and the 1930s, when Walt Disney elevated it to a new level with the supple, emotionally precise cha...