“Persian Letters” is an epistolary essay film based on the letters of the filmmaker’s father, that he wrote to her from prison.
Her father, an Iranian former cardiac surgeon whom she did not know until his first letter, contacts her from a prison in Paris. The filmmaker learns that most of what she thought about him until then was a lie. In hindsight, that does not bother her much, because the lie was not as bad as reality. At least, it was more realistic than the simulated realism of the father’s letters that deal with blood relationship, genealogy, and identity. The motive of the filmmaker is not confirmation of reality, but protest. In, at times peculiar, reflections on heritage and the rejection of identity, two complete strangers, who are fundamentally unable to understand each other, get to know each other through their writing.

Status: in production

Feature Documentary film
Development funded by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture (work stipend for female filmmakers)
ⓒ Jana Papenbroock, Berlin 2020

With Luise Boege
Director of photography Jakob Gross

Preview screening of a 10 min excerpt:
Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art
Saturday, Sept 28 at 8.30pm