Iranian Film Series

Thursday Nights

Location: Loyola University, Main Campus, Monroe Hall, Room 157
Time: 7- 9 p.m.

The Department of History and the Middle East Peace Studies Program of Loyola University New Orleans invite you to enjoy an Iranian film series hosted on Loyola’s main campus during the spring semester. To inspire reflection and discussion on current situations in Iran and US/Iranian relations, this film series will showcase contemporary and independently produced films offering Loyola students and the New Orleans public an in-depth and multifaceted perspective on Iran’s complex and culturally rich diverse society. Please join us for an evening of beautiful films and thoughtful reflections.


  • Thurs, 2/02, 7:00 p.m.,- Women without Men
  • Thurs, 2/16, 7:00 p.m.- The Song of Sparrows
  • Thurs, 3/01, 7:00 p.m.- The Glass House
  • Thurs, 3/15, 7:00 p.m.- Circumstance
  • Thurs, 3/29, 7:00 p.m.- My Tehran for Sale
  • Thurs, 4/12, 7:00 p.m.- Ten
  • Thurs, 4/26, 7:00 p.m.- The Circle

Women Without Men (2009)

Date: Thursday, February 2nd, 7:00- 9:00 p.m.
Location: Monroe 157

A Film by: Shirin Neshat & Shoja Azari
Awards: 2009 Venice Film Festival: Best Director Award

Women Without Men is Shirin Neshat’s independent film adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur's novel by the same name. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d'état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power. As Iran is thrown into a period of unrest, the life-long struggles of each woman come to a head and the paths of their respective journeys bring them to a place where they can be together, women without men.

Film Trailer:

The Song of Sparrows (2008)

Date: Thursday, February 16th, 7- 9 p.m.
Location: Monroe  Hall 157

Director: Majid Majidi
Awards: 81st Academy Awards: Iran’s selection for Best Foreign Language Film, National Board of Review: Finalist for Best Foreign Language Film, and many more.

When an ostrich-rancher must travel to replace his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes into a world alien to him - incredibly hectic Tehran, where suddenly opportunities for independence, thrill and challenge him. His honor and honesty, plus traditional authority over his inventive clan, are tested, as he stumbles among vast cultural and economic gaps between his village nestled in the desert, and a throbbing international metropolis. A story about righteousness, temptation, and the bond of family, The Song of Sparrows shows the dramatic dichotomy between rural and urban life in Iran.

Film Trailer:

The Glass House (2009)

Date: Thursday, March 1st, 7:00- 9 p.m.
Location: Monroe Hall 157

Director: Hamid Rahmanian
Awards: Official Selection for more than 50 International Festivals and winner of many awards.

The Glass House follows four girls striving to pull themselves out of the margins of Iranian society by attending a one-of-kind rehabilitation center in Tehran, in this groundbreaking documentary. With a virtually invisible camera, the girls of The Glass House take us on a never-before-seen tour of the underbelly of Iran with their brave and defiant stories: Samira struggles to overcome forced drug addiction; Mitra harnesses abandonment into her creative writing; Sussan teeters on a dangerous ledge after years of sexual abuse; and Nazila burgeons out of her hatred with her blazing rap music. This documentary showcases a group of courageous women working to instill a sense of empowerment and hope into the minds and lives of otherwise discarded teenage girls by giving them a place to belong and a voice to speak.

Film Trailer:

Circumstance (2011)

Date: Thursday, March 15th, 7:00- 9:00 p.m.
Location: Monroe 157

Written and directed by: Maryam Keshavarz
Awards: Sundance Film Fest: Audience Award and Finalist for several John Cassavetes Awards

Atafeh and her brother, Mehran, have grown up privileged, in a home filled with music, art, and intellectual curiosity. While Atafeh dreams of fame and adventure, she and her best friend, Shireen, explore together Tehran's underground scenes and their sexuality. Meanwhile, her brother returns home from drug rehab, renounces his former decadent life, and replaces his once obsessive practice of classical music with more destructive pursuits. While following these siblings in their personal pursuits, Circumstance gives its audience a peek into the lives of young Iranians who are experimenting with sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Film Trailer:

My Tehran for Sale (2009)

Date: Thursday, March 29th, 7:00- 9:00 p.m.
Location: Monroe Hall 157

Director: Granaz Moussavi
Awards: Fort Collins Trimedia Awards: Best Feature Film & an official selection of countless film festivals.

Marzieh is a young female actress living in Tehran. The authorities ban her theatre work and like many young people in Iran, she is forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically. At an underground rave, she meets Iranian born Saman, now an Australian citizen, who offers her a way out of her country and the possibility of living without fear. A story familiar to many Iranian ex-patriots, My Tehran for Sale is a film about the difficult decision to either abandon one’s true identity or abandon one’s nation of birth.

Film Trailer:

Ten (2002)

Date: Thursday, April 12th, 7- 9 p.m.
Location: Monroe Hall 157

Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Awards: Cannes Film Festival: Official Selection

Ten, a film by the master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, captures ten conversations between a female driver in Tehran and the passengers in her car. Her exchanges with her young son, a jilted bride, a prostitute, a women on her way to prayer and others, shed light on the lives and emotions of these women whose voices are seldom heard. Ten gives its audiences a intimate perspective on the lives of Iranian women and the strengths they share.

The Circle (2000)

Date: Thursday, April 26th, 7- 9 p.m.
Time: Monroe Hall 157

Director: Jafar Panahi
Awards: Golden Lion: Best Film and Cannes Film Festival: Best Film of the Year

The Circle is a film about the experiences of young women, all in very different stages and situations in life, who are attempting to navigate the complex and strict expectations of women in Iran. Jumping from the life of a woman who has just given birth to the lives of escaped female inmates, to the experience of a woman who prostitutes herself on the street to a woman who has become a nurse after a hard life, this film covers a range of experiences and circumstances of Iranian women and delivers a strong message about the situation of women in current Iranian society.

Descriptions are mostly based on summaries.

For additional information: please contact series coordinator, Jennifer Hunt at