Directed by Beate Petersen • 2011 • Norway
In 1842 the 11-year-old heir to the Persian throne received a camera from Queen Victoria of England. In the following decades, he documented his life, revealing to the public eye what it was never supposed to see.
“Nasseredin Shah and his 84 Wives” is based on the photos taken by the Shah himself as well as by his court. With the addition of several animated sequences, it tells the story of the rivalry and intrigues within the harem, the murders, the corruption, the political power struggle, and of Iran’s troubled relation to Europe.
The film is an investigation into how things became as they are in Iran, but from a historic perspective that is all too often overlooked: that is, the influential role played by women in the origins of modern Iran.