Iranian Cookbook 0+

(Dastour-e Ashpazi), Mohammad Shirvani, IR 2010, Persian / English subtitles, 72 min
Iranian Cookbook

Six urban women reveal their family recipes in a film that, at first glance, may look like an introduction to local cuisine, but which turns into a surprising exploration of relationships in modern Iranian society. In this deceptively simple documentary, director Mohammad Shirvani sets up shop in the kitchens of six Iranian housewives, all relatives of the filmmaker, as they prepare meals for their families during Ramadan. The women share their love for food and a few trade secrets (one hasn’t washed her hands for two years, explaining: “Imagine all the vitamins they must contain!”), but what begins as a series of cooking lessons for traditional Persian cuisine subtly evolves into a deeply pointed look at the relationships between men and women in contemporary Iranian culture. Refreshingly effective for its technical simplicity, this smart doc tackles issues of domesticity that carry far beyond its national borders.

The screening is in partnership with the International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava.

 

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