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The Time That Separates Us

Film still from Parastoo Anoushahpour’s "The Time That Separates Us". Arms and lower body of two people sitting on a cliff. A pen in hand, a bag on the ground, below a highway and the blue sea.
© Parastoo Anoushahpour
  • Director

    Parastoo Anoushahpour

  • Canada / 2022
    35 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    Arabic, English

THE TIME THAT SEPARATES US circles the story of Lot’s wife and its related sites of mythology, ancient salt-rock formations found doubled across a contested border, overlooking the Dead Sea. Geologists speculate that they were created by an underwater volcanic eruption, the same phenomenon that destroyed the historical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Concurrently, the biblical narrative for this geological event tells of a community punished for their deviant sexuality—while Lot’s wife disobeys her condition for salvation, turns back to witness the destruction, and is instantly transformed into a pillar of salt.
In the film the Pillar of Salt becomes a portal through which to face the contemporary Jordan River Valley, its heavily militarized border and complex infrastructures of tourism, and the stigmatized realms of desire encoded within this highly mediated political landscape. The script was formed through a series of collective writing exercises that often took place along the Jordan River and around the key sites of the film. Through this process the group found ways to speak of geology, politics, and sexuality, using a language that acknowledged the contradictory symbolism of these sites while allowing for gaps in meaning, in which empathy and organic intelligence could operate.

Production Parastoo Anoushahpour. Production company Parastoo Anoushahpour (Toronto, Canada). Director Parastoo Anoushahpour. Screenplay Parastoo Anoushahpour. Cinematography Parastoo Anoushahpour, Dina Mimi, Nuno Cassola. Editing Parastoo Anoushahpour. Sound design Parastoo Anoushahpour. Sound Ryan Ferko. With Bayan Kiwan, Haneen Dajani, Loay Mimi, Dina Mimi, Firas Hamdan.

Parastoo Anoushahpour is an artist originally from Tehran now based in Toronto working predominantly with film, video and installation. She was an artist in residence in Jordan, Spain, Taiwan, and Canada. Her recent solo and collaborative work has been shown at the ICA, London; MoMA and The Flaherty Film Seminar, New York, Punto de Vista Film Festival, and Sharjah Film Platform amongst others. Since 2013 she has been working in collaboration with Ryan Ferko and Faraz Anoushahpour. Their shared practice explores the tension of multiple subjectivities as a strategy to address the power inherent in narrative structures. Their film SURFACE RITES (2021) was part of Forum Expanded 2022.

Films (with Faraz Anoushahpour and Ryan Ferko): 2014: Still Life (Egg & Glass) (4 min.), There is a Woman Texting in Front of the Dark Horse (15 min.). 2015: Bunte Kuh (6 min.). 2017: Heart of a Mountain (5 min.). 2018: Chooka (20 min.), If All The Changes Quickly (18 min.), Pictures of Departure (12 min.). 2021: Charity, Canada, 360 video (35 min.), Surface Rites (with Faraz Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko, 24 min., Forum Expanded 2022). 2022: The Time That Seperates Us.

Program Schedule

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur