Salam Iran, A Persian Letter

Genre:  Documentary
Running Time:  72 min.
Release Date: September 1, 2002

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Salam Iran offers insight into a country seething with change but ruthlessly contained by the Islamic theocracy. It is also a universal portrait of exile - intense yearning for what can never be reclaimed. Amir Moussami fled Iran 18 years ago as a young student targeted by the revolution as an agitator for democracy.

He settled in Montreal, yearning for his country and for the mother to whom he never had a chance to say goodbye. When his mother wrote of her fear that she would die before setting eyes on him again, Amir planned a brief return. Lafond was captivated by Amir's story and decided to accompany him, camera in tow.

But then fate cast a curve ball - Amir's visa was deferred by the Iranian consulate the day before departure, and Lafond flew on without his native guide. He discovers for himself the complexities of a country struggling under the heavy yoke of Ayotollah Khomeini's conservatism, yet needing to navigate in the modern world.

He finds a fascinating assemblage of Iranians to help him decipher this unfamiliar territory. Finally Amir's visa is approved and he arrives at Tehran airport beaming with anticipation. Home at last! But home to what? The land of his happy childhood memories, or of the current repressive state?

Screenplay: Jean-Daniel Lafond

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