Part of the Spring 2019 Spring Series: Tales of the Middle East
From Variety -
Danish director Berit Madsen’s first documentary feature spends a few years in the company of its titular figure, a provincial Iranian teenager whose dream of becoming an astronaut — or even “just” an astronomer — requires stubborn, single-minded focus, since almost no one around her thinks those are fit pursuits for a young woman in a conservative Muslim culture. “Sepideh” packages its somewhat predictable inspirational-uplift message in a leisurely, engaging form, even if there are moments that seem to be happening not just on camera, but because the camera is there. Broadcast sales prospects look bright.
Sixteen when we meet her, Sepideh Hooshyar lives with her mother and brother (her father died suddenly a few years ago) in Sa’adat Shahr, a town in the southwestern province of Fars. Though the family seems comfortably situated, their finances are turning precarious. The fields they own have gone dry and unplanted, and the late husband’s relatives have not been helpful about repairing a well. Mom also worries constantly that Sepideh, who invites gossip by going out stargazing at night and fixes on career goals that many consider unrealistic. (For one thing, they probably can’t afford to send her to university.)
Country of Origin
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Iran
2014/ 90 min