16.04. ‐ 21.04.2024


Narges Kalhor

The award-winning hybrid film by director Narges Kalhor begins with a question: how can Narges, who was born in Iran, get rid of her middle name Shahid? Shahid means something like martyr, and she doesn't want anything to do with the sanguinary idea of a martyr’s death. And she definitely does not want to carry that in her name. The film explores Narges’ family history and its entanglement with the history of Iran.

The fascinating soundtrack was added by multi-instrumentalist Marja Burchard, who is known world-wide with her band Embryo. The production was funded by Hessenfilm, and some scenes were filmed in Wiesbaden.

Further screenings:
WED, 17 April, 18:00 - Cinema of the DFF
THUR, 18 April, 20:30 - Filmforum Höchst

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Narges Kalhor
Country Germany
Year 2024
Duration 84 min
Language German, Farsi & English with German subtitles
Production Michael Kalb
Camera Felix Pflieger
Script Narges Kalhor, Aydin Alinejad
Sound Jesus Casquete
Music Marja Burchard (Embryo)

Berlinale 2024: Arthouse Cinema Award, Caligari Film Price 2024

About the Director

Narges Kalhor, born in Teheran (Iran) in 1984. She studied directing and visual communication and applied for political asylum in Germany during a festival visit in 2009. Her graduation film In The Name of Scheherazade premiered at the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon, and was awarded the Goethe Institute price for best documentary at DOK Leipzig.

Press Reviews

“A witty piece between reality and fiction, theater and musical.” (Berlinale)

“Shahid is astonishing time and time again, sometimes ingeniously profound, sometimes wonderfully hilarious in its desire for deconstruction, as well as the clash between wish and the reality of German bureaucracy. An absolutely original and must-watch film.” (Fabian Wallmeier, rbb24.de)

“Similarly to how Narges Kalhor has to seek her identity within different countries, cultures and languages, this movie masterfully switches registers too. Between fiction and documentary, tragedy and comedy, genre cinema and experimental film, slow-motion and time lapse, film, film-in-film and behind-the-scenes moments. Again and again, fiction crumbles away and makes way for reality. Circular motion proves to be a spiral into the depths of individual biography and collective past." (Caligari-Jury)

The Director About the Film

“It is important to me that the audience does not get bored, which is why we used all kinds of elements: music, dance, image-rich elements. We knew we were going to use this many levels from the beginning. This film cannot be made by a German film maker in Germany or an Iranian film maker in Iran. We translate our ideas and our backgrounds into the German language. That is something that I, as an immigrant, miss when discussing diversity today. It is not just about putting some new faces in front of the camera, but about diverse mentalities of film makers, too.” (Narges Kalhor)


Regional Feature Film Program