Touran Khanom, 2019, Rakhshan Banietemad, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Touran Khanom

Director: Rakhshan Banietemad, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; Cinematography: Majid Gorjian, Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; Editing: Shirin Barghnavard; Music: Peyman Yazdanian; With: Touran Mirhadi, Yahya Mafi, Iran Gorgin. Iran, 2019, DCP, color, 91 min. Persian with English subtitles

We conclude our tour through Banietemad's body of work with her most recent film, a documentary celebrating the life and work of Touran Mirhadi, one of Iran's most important cultural figures, who has also been called "the preeminent modern of modern education in Iran." A woman with a will of iron, Mirhadi spent her life working for more than twenty institutions devoted to educating children and promoting enlightened, peaceful, and cultural dialogue. Her life project, the Encyclopedia for Young People, is famous throughout the country. At first glance, Touran Khanom appears to be another subject-oriented film, but closer inspection reveals several of Banietemad's constant preoccupations: a focus on strong, unique women characters, faith in the ideas of solidarity and education, and, finally and above all, belief that individuals can shape and transform society. (T.A.)