Mothers of martyrs

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Mères de martyrs

Mothers of martyrs
(Behesht zahra)

by Mehran Tamadon



Mères de martyrs

Director: Mehran Tamadon

Assistant Director: Hossein Rasti

Cinematographer: F. Khosrovani, M. Tamadon

Editing: F. Saheb-Zamani

Mehran Tamadon, Laetitia Lemerle
28 rue Laurence Savart
75020 Paris
Tel / Fax: 0033

Year: 2004

Beta SP, Colour, 44 min
OV with French Subtitles


Teheran’s large cemetery with more than 400 000 graves is located in Behesht Zahra, which is the area reserved to the martyrs of the Iran- Iraq war. Most of the martyrs’ families and specially their mothers live there. For more than 22 years, these women have been coming to the cemetery once or twice a week, to visit these young volunteers who died for their country or for Islam. What are these women doing in such a place meant for the dead ? They meet, chat, cook, pray, cry and take rest, and this is how they spend all their Thursdays.

The Mothers of Martyrs is the expression of a paradox: how can a place for the dead possibly become a place for living ? Mehrat Tamadon has attempted to understand what hides behind the conservative and religious image of the martyrs‘ mothers who, for the Westerners as well as most of Iranian population, represent a group of fanatics maintained and supported by the regime. He mostly focuses on the mother’s image questioning how much she can bear for her children, even dead. He shows the tenderness and infinite pain felt by these women.

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