Reading Lolita in Tehran to be promoted at upcoming Cannes Fest - Hindustan Times

Reading Lolita in Tehran to be promoted at upcoming Cannes Film Festival

May 09, 2023 01:49 PM IST

Golshifteh Farahani-starrer Reading Lolita in Tehran is on its way to Cannes Film Festival. The film is based on a popular novel from 2003.

The feature adaptation of Azar Nafisa's bestselling Iranian novel, Reading Lolita in Tehran, is all set to roll. The sale of this movie by WestEnd Films will be launched at the Cannes Film Festival, kicking off on May 16 at the divinely beautiful French Riviera. Starring in it will be Golshifteh Farahani (Pirates of the Caribbean, About Elly and Paterson) and Zar Amir-Ebrahami (Cannes Palme d'Or winner for Holy Spider in 2022).

The film is an adaptation of the 2003 bestselling novel Reading Lolita in Tehran.
The film is an adaptation of the 2003 bestselling novel Reading Lolita in Tehran.

The movie will also be titled Reading Lolita in Tehran, and helmed by award-winning director Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride, Dancing Arabs) and written by Marjorie David — alongside Mina Kavani (Red Rose, No Bears).

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The book is now available in 32 languages and set after the Iranian Revolution when the country came under an extreme form of dictatorship.

The plot is inspiring and makes every effort to counter the brutality of the regime. It narrates the story of a teacher who gets together seven of her most committed girl students and encourages them to read forbidden Western classics. These included Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Daisy Miller and Pride, and the girls realised that if they had to have freedom, they had to leave their beloved homeland.

As the moral police force took over Iran and indulged in rampant raids in Tehran, including the universities there, the girls in the teacher's room removed their veils and spoke their minds. Their stories ran parallel to the novels they read.

“Reading Lolita in Tehran, with its depiction of both human relationships and political and global matters, struck a deep emotional chord with me,” said Riklis.“I was totally aware of the potential complexity of telling such an intimate story of women in Iran. But I also knew that it’s a wonderful and emotional challenge, based on a universal view of human struggle wherever and whenever it is. I knew that my approach to storytelling, one of respect, emotion, dignity, love and responsibility, will always win and overcome any obstacle.”

“Eran Riklis brings a uniquely sensitive touch in exploring the complex lives of these women under political and personal siege,” said Maya Amsellem, managing director of WestEnd Films.

Reading Lolita in Tehran marks the second feature from WestEnd starring Amir-Ebrahami. Earlier this year it was announced that the company was selling the political thriller Untitled Judo, which Amir-Ebrahami is also set to co-direct alongside Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv.

Reading Lolita in Tehran was shot in Italy and is now in postproduction. It is an Italian-Israeli effort.

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