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Film still from "Shahid" by Narges Kalhor. It shows a group of people between the houses on the street. In front is a woman in a red jacket. Behind her is a group of men dressed in black.
Still from SHAHID by Narges Kalhor © Leonie Huber
  • Director

    Narges Kalhor

  • Germany / 2024
    84 min / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    German, Farsi, English

A wildly clever film that’s part reality, part fiction, part theatre and part musical. Director Narges Shahid Kalhor directs an actor playing a version of herself. She doesn’t want to be called “Shahid” (martyr) anymore, and is determined to change her name. Then, her heroic great-grandfather turns up – given the title of martyr 100 years ago in Iran – from whom his descendants inherited it. He wants to dissuade his great-granddaughter, and shadows her in her quest along with his dancing friends. The Bavarian district administration sends her to a psychologist, who also has a difficult name…In the end, everyone is hindered: the director by bureaucracy, the actor by the director’s demands, her great-grandfather by his descendant’s determination and the film by itself. The winds of history blow her round and round in circles, through the scenic German town and through her own film shoot, as stereotypes and privileges are shaken up performatively and inventively, all while having a lot of fun along the way. Ambiguous autofiction with visual arcs, songs and poems: a tragicomic, defiant act of self-empowerment in exile. (Madeleine Bernstorff)

Narges Kalhor, born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran, Narges Kalhor studied directing and visual communication. In 2009, she applied for political asylum in Germany while in the country for a festival. Her graduation film In the Name of Scheherazade premiered at the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon and was awarded the Goethe Institut’s prize for best documentary film at DOK Leipzig.

Production Michael Kalb. Production company Michael Kalb Filmproduktion (Dinkelscherben, Germany). Director Narges Kalhor. Screenplay Narges Kalhor, Aydin Alinejad. Cinematography Felix Pflieger. Editing Frank Müller, Narges Kalhor. Music Marja Burchard. Sound design Philip Hutter. Sound Jesus Casquete. Production design Ann-Kristin Büttner. Costumes Künstlerin aus dem Iran. Choreography Nina Wesemann. Animation Frank Patzke, Kevin Fuchs. Commissioning editor Lucia Haslauer. Co-production ZDF / Das kleine Fernsehspiel. With Baharak Abdolifard, Nima Nazarinia, Narges Kalhor, Thomas Sprekelsen, Carine Huber, saLeh roZati, Noah Schuler, Lili Pongratz, Alon Bracha, Zuki Izak Ringart, Roman Singh, Ludger Lamers, Nina Wesemann.

Films: 2002: Without Discourse (5 min.). 2004: Roshangari haie iek morgh (16 min.). 2006: We must have Died! (5 min.). 2008: Die Egge (15 min.). 2011: München–Teheran (18 min.). 2013: Shoot Me! (30 min.). 2014: Kafan (5 min.). 2015: Lavaschak (30 min.). 2016: Gis (15 min.), Lovogary (4 min.). 2017: Neda (5 min.). 2019: In the Name of Scheherazade (75 min.). 2021: SuperEnki from Osterwald (short film). 2023: Sensitive Content (short film). 2024: Shahid.

Bonus Material

Director’s Statement and Interview

Funded by:

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