SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Karestan Documentaries from Iran: "Lady of the Roses" and "Mother of the Earth"


Date: 30 April 2019Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 30 April 2019Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Film

Karestan Documentaries

Tickets: £5 early-bird until Wednesday 24 April 2019; £8 standard and on the door. To purchase tickets please visit the SOAS Online Store.

Following the success of the Karestan Documentary event on 24 November 2018 at SOAS, the Centre for Iranian Studies (LMEI) is screening two further award winning documentaries. “Lady of the Roses” Director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (2009) and “Mother of the Earth” Director Mahnaz Afzali (2016) reveal the lives of Iranian environmental-social activists whose life-long projects have created positive enduring changes for the Iranian people and landscape. The film screenings will be followed by the opportunity to converse with the film directors via Skype. "Lady of the Roses" in a sense is the archetypal character whose passion and endeavours set an example for us all, like all the protagonists of the, later established, Karestan documentary series - people who have played and continue to play an integral role in transforming notions of social responsibility and entrepreneurship in contemporary Iran despite hostile circumstances.

Karestan presents stories of Iranian entrepreneurs (men and women) who, both in big and small terms, take risks and change their lives and those of others by creating innovative ideas and values. For more information visit the Karestan Project along with a short film on the project here.

The screening event will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 30 April in the Khalili Lecture Theatre at SOAS with each of the two documentaries followed by a Q&A session with the directors of the films on Skype. Please note that the Q&A will be in Persian with English translation provided.

“Lady of the Roses” Director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb 2009 / 52 mins, Persian with English Subtitles

This documentary follows the story of Shahindokht Sanati who replaced the poppy fields of Lalehzaar region of Kerman with roses and transformed the agricultural destiny of a region once known as an opium producing centre, to one bedecked with flowers and flowing rose-water. The story is told, three years after her death, by Homayoun Sanati, Shahindokht’s spouse, who founded “Franklin Publishing,” “Offset printing house,” “Pars Paper Co.,” etc. and is a unique figure in Iran’s culture, industry and management. View the trailer here.

“Mother of the Earth” Director Mahnaz Afzali, 2016 / 52 min, Persian with English Subtitles

This documentary takes a brief look at Hayedeh Shirzadi (PhD in ecology) and her husband’s shared life, love and attempts to put an end to the dumping and burial of urban garbage. Their hard work has resulted in 100% of Kermanshah’s garbage being recycled and the bio waste being made into organic fertilizers. Dr Shirzadi is an energetic leader whose main concern is the fate of the earth; she travels around Iran establishing recycling centres and has recently opened up a centre for recycling construction rubble. View the trailer here.

Chair: Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad (SOAS) and Roya Arab (City, University of London)

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies and London Middle East Institute

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330