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Director’s commentary

When I arrived in Austria as a nine-year-old, exile was just a word. Even during puberty I didn’t think about it very often, until the day I had spent as much time in Iran as in Austria. From that point on I asked myself what we could call the “classic migrant identity question”: “Am I becoming more Austrian every day, just because I can’t return to my home country?” A number of similar questions suddenly posed themselves, and I wanted to learn everything possible about things I had forgotten about and that weren’t available to me in exile. I wanted to get closer to my family and better understand the situation in Iran. I wanted to comprehend the roles played by history and society in shaping individuals, and I wanted to learn the strategies people from completely different cultures develop when dealing with the pain caused by forced separation from their families.

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Director’s commentary

When I arrived in Austria as a nine-year-old, exile was just a word. Even during puberty I didn’t think about it very often, until the day I had spent as much time in Iran as in Austria. From that point on I asked myself what we could call the “classic migrant identity question”: “Am I becoming more Austrian every day, just because I can’t return to my home country?” A number of similar questions suddenly posed themselves, and I wanted to learn everything possible about things I had forgotten about and that weren’t available to me in exile. I wanted to get closer to my family and better understand the situation in Iran. I wanted to comprehend the roles played by history and society in shaping individuals, and I wanted to learn the strategies people from completely different cultures develop when dealing with the pain caused by forced separation from their families.

more ...

INTERVIEW: “God helps those who help themselves!”

What inspired you to make ?


Actually I decided to make this film the day I had spent half of my life in Iran and the other half in Austria. I was 18 at the time and full of those classic questions that occupy all foreigners. I wanted to know who I am now. Am I Austrian or Persian? Am I becoming more Austrian every day, or is it just impossible to deny my Iranian side?

I started taping my relatives’ first visits to Austria from Iran in 1994. At first they were only a few videos meant as mementoes, the kind that every family makes. Over the years I filmed more and more material until somebody had the idea of the entire family meeting in Saudi Arabia, disguised as pilgrims. But since my father wasn’t able to come, I promised to tape everything so he’d be able to experience the journey afterward.

When did it become more than just a private family video?

more ...

INTERVIEW: “God helps those who help themselves!”

What inspired you to make ?


Actually I decided to make this film the day I had spent half of my life in Iran and the other half in Austria. I was 18 at the time and full of those classic questions that occupy all foreigners. I wanted to know who I am now. Am I Austrian or Persian? Am I becoming more Austrian every day, or is it just impossible to deny my Iranian side?

I started taping my relatives’ first visits to Austria from Iran in 1994. At first they were only a few videos meant as mementoes, the kind that every family makes. Over the years I filmed more and more material until somebody had the idea of the entire family meeting in Saudi Arabia, disguised as pilgrims. But since my father wasn’t able to come, I promised to tape everything so he’d be able to experience the journey afterward.

When did it become more than just a private family video?

more ...

 
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