In our next Film Society movie Tehranto (clever play on Tehran and Toronto), writer-director Faran Moradi points out that even immigrants from the same country can have drastically different perspectives on their culture.
The divide within Toronto’s Iranian-Canadian community sets the stage for this rom-com.
Sharon, who was born in Canada, is very much adapted to Western ways and impartial to her Persian culture —she’s even anglicized her birth name Shirin. She’s an artist who’s been forced into real estate by her affluent, money-driven parents. Badi is a brash, recently immigrated pre-med student, still with strong ties to his homeland and contempt for assimilated Iranians who he calls “traitors to their race.”
There is an intense attraction between the two, but they clash over what it means to be Iranian in Canada. The collision of their worlds challenges them, with social expectations pressuring them on one hand and romantic desires on the other. The cultural differences which threaten to divide their union come to a head the night Sharon brings Badi home for dinner to meet her parents.
Tehranto gives us an engaging window into lives other than our own, with challenges that are familiar but steeped in an unfamiliar culture. The movie and the stylistic touches employed by Moradi, including freeze frames to explain certain cultural customs and phrases, help us to understand the experiences of communities of displaced people.
Tehranto has some subtitles and shows Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. at the Classic.
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