Review: ‘Iran-Behind the Scenes’ captures an authentic experience

For thousands of years, Iran was known as the Persian empire to the Western world.

But upon hearing the word Iran, what images come to your mind?

Aryana Farshad, a native Iranian filmmaker captured her journey in Iran and presented it at El Camino College’s Marsee Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 7.

Before the film “Iran-Behind The Scenes” began, Farshad said this was not an ordinary documentary because the scenes were not edited, wanting to give the audience a more authentic experience.

“Iran-Behind The Scenes” depicted Iran with rich stories while also demonstrating its political and social values. The quality of the images and film were decent as it looked like a movie made in the 90s.

Farshad and her crew traveled around Iran, which has more than 80 million inhabitants, filming ancient historical sites that have had strong political influences, including Tehran.

Tehran, the capital of Iran, is known as the city of motorbikes, high rises and traffic. With more than 18 million people it is the most populated city in the country.

As the narrator in the film described the capital, the picture and sounds made the audience feel as if they were in Iran.

The film provided insight on the last king of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, while Farshad gave the audience further understanding of politics and life in Iran.

Pahlavi created public schools for women, banned hijabs (Muslim hair covering) and allowed women to work, however, Iran eventually became an Islamic country where women must follow the Islamic dress code, which created gender segregation and meant women had to cover from head to toe.

After Tehran, Farshad traveled to the Zoroastarian temple. Zoroastorian is the ancient monotheistic religion in Iran, where its followers believed in fire as the most important element in life.

Farshad captured important historical stories for each of the cities in the film showing vibrant Iranian foods, including kebabs, tea, fish and sweets delicacies like caviar.

Besides oil, Farshad and her crew discovered that Iran produces the best caviar in the world but were not able to try any.

This film holds true to its title claim of “behind the scenes” because it captured the real sounds of the streets in Iran.