And, Towards Happy Alleys

Sreemoyee Singh / / 2023

Iranian film and poetry is a beautiful bird in a cage that gets smaller and smaller. An Indian filmmaker has learnt the language and created a love letter to cinema and freedom. Beautiful, genuine and with liberating humour.

Despite censorship and repression, Iran’s artists and poets are constantly finding new ways to express themselves. Indian Sreemoyee Singh loves the country’s cinema so much that she taught herself Persian and has spent six years making the most lively declaration of love to cinema – and to Iranian film culture in particular – imaginable. Even if Iranian cinema is a foreign country to you, this is an experience that hits you right in the heart. The magical moments line up in a political but liberating and warm film, like when Singh sings a Persian song (something the local women are not allowed to do), when the noise of a drill drowns out a conversation about eroticism on film, or when the great director and humanitarian Jafar Panahi makes one of his former actors shed a tear just by looking her in the eye with a small smile in the corner of his face.