Ali Soozandeh • Germany, Austria • 2018 • A gorgeously animated portrait of contemporary Tehran.
Pari is a prostitute in Tehran. She wants to leave her husband, but needs a judge to sign the court order. Her arrangement with a corrupt magistrate leads to other favors she earns in exchange for sex, including an apartment and tuition for her young son. While living here, Pari meets Sara, a neighbor who wants to work but cannot without first gaining her husband’s permission. Meanwhile Donya searches for an unscrupulous doctor who will perform an operation to restore her virginity.
Filmed using rotoscoping, a hybrid between live action and animation, Tehran Taboo explores sexual restrictions placed on ordinary women in Iran. Ali Soozandeh’s first film premiered at Cannes - Critics’ Week; Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, where it won the Daniel Langlois Innovation Award; Jerusalem, where it won the FIPRESCI Award for Best International First Feature; and Sitges, where it won Best Animation.