Nahid Persson Sarvestani

2008 90 min.

Original version in English, Persian and Swedish with Spanish and Catalan subtitles
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Technical specs

    • Direction: Nahid Persson Sarvestani
    • Editing: Zinat S. Lloyd
    • Executive producer: Nahid Persson Sarvestani
    • Production: RealReel Doc AB
    • Script: Nahid Persson Sarvestani, Zinat S. Lloyd
    • Sound: Bjorn Schaller
    • Suitable for all audiences



Nearly 30 years after Iranian-Swedish filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani participated in the Islamic Revolution to overthrow the Shah’s Monarchy regime in Iran, she returns to her native country for a visit.

The success of her critically acclaimed film, Prostitution Behind the Veil  has angered the Islamic Republic and she is immediately placed under house arrest. Nahid is interrogated a number of times and is accused of being a Royalist. She is forced to sign a document promising that she’d never make a film about Iran again.

Upon returning to Sweden Nahid decides to make the focus of her new film to an unlikely  subject: Farah Diba, the Shah’s wife. The former queen welcomes Nahid into her life but soon finds out about the filmmaker’s role in the revolution and becomes suspicious of her intentions. She stops the filming but after a few months Nahid wins the queen’s trust again. Her new challenge is how to confront the queen with the failings of her husband’s regime that led to the revolution without jeopardizing making her film.

In the process of filming the antagonist of her revolutionary past, Nahid and the queen encounter frequent confrontations and revelations that evolve into an unforeseen journey of two women in exile, who have more in common than any of them could envision.

About direction (Nahid Persson Sarvestani)

Born in Shiraz, Iran, Nahid Persson Sarvestani took political asylum in Sweden after the revolution that took place in Iran in 1979. Persson’s social-political films have won 25 awards including an International Emmy for Prostitution Behind the Veil. In 2006, after the release of the award winning documentary, Persson was arrested in Iran due to her harsh and critical depiction of women under the Islamic Republic regime. While staying under house arrest, she was secretly completing her documentary Four Wives - One Man.The film is critical with polygamy. The Queen and I, which is the result of two year’s work, was released worldwide in conjunction with the 30-year anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 2009.

Awards & Festivals

  • Best Film Award - Vera Film Festival. Finland, 2009
  • Italy Award at the International Radio, TV and Web Competition. Italy, 2009
  • Sundance Film Festival. United States, 2009
  • IDFA. Netherlands, 2009
  • Los Angeles Film Festival. United States, 2009