Sunday, August 30, 2009


In Farsi and French with English subtitles

Farah Diba was born on October 14, 1938 in Tabriz, Iran. She is the only daughter of Sohrab Diba an Iranian Army officer and a law graduate of the Sorbonne and the famed French military Academy of St. Cyr. Her mother, Mme. Farideh Diba, personally supervised her education, first at Tehran's Jeanne d'Arc and Razi schools, and later at the École d'Architecture in Paris, where she was studying up to the time of her marriage to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, which took place on December 20, 1959. In 1967, the Shah crowned Farah empress. Her best-selling autobiography, "An Enduring Love: My Life with the Shah" has been translated into more than 50 languages.

Nahid Persson Sarvestani was born May 24, 1960 in Shiraz, Iran. She is an award-winning Iranian-Swedish filmaker and director. Her most famous documentary films are Prostitution Behind the Veil, My mother - A Persian Princess, The End of Exile, and The Last Days of Life.

Told more or less in chronological order, this documentary about the widow of the former Shah of Iran is hobbled by virtue of the fact the filmmaker did not have complete directorial control over the film. The Empress did.

So the questions asked of the Empress were tempered by the possibility she would once again put a stop to the entire proceedings, as she did when earlier opposition to the Shah surfaced. And the answers given were left pretty much intact even though the Empress sometimes was less than direct, giving inconsequential explanations. Some of this rambling should have been edited out in the interest of brevity as well as being irrelevant to the question asked.

Nahid did not dare offend the Empress or she would not have a film. Not the best way to producing a good independent documentary I would say.


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