Here the Seats Are Vacant
اینجا صندلی ها خالیست
Directed by Shiva Sanjari • 2016 • Iran
The life of Iranian women who were working in the mainstream Iranian cinema changed drastically after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. These women use to get small roles or dance in these movies. But they suddenly eliminated from the industry after the revolution.
Shahrzad was sold by her father when she was only 12 years old, and was forced to dance in a cabaret in Tehran. Years passed by and she became a famous actress and dancer. Eventually, Shahrzad appeared in many movies and received important awards and recognition for her work.
In 1977 Shahrzad directed her first movie and became the first female director in Iranian cinema. Two years later, the revolution changed the country and the Islamic government banned her from working in the movie industry, destroying her career and artistic future.
Almost 35 years have passed and now, Shahrzad is 72 years old. I found her in a small village in the rural parts of Iran. She is living in a very humble flat. Here in this small village, she went into hiding.