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How can love and sexuality find a way through the myriad of prohibitions and religious rules in contemporary Iranian society?
How did religion become a political system and managed to penetrate privacy, creating a feeling of anxiety around the subject of love and sexuality? These are the questions at the heart of Mitra Farahanis part-fictional, part-documentary film. The fiction parts are sensual visualizations of an erotic Persian poem from the 19 th century written by Iraj Mirza (famous Iranian author) The genre mix was necessary as it enabled her to reveal via the fictional and documentary elements, the contradiction between a society that once so well managed to combine culture, Islam and the art of loving.
In today’s environment a couple who embrace are forced to ask themselves if they are committing a grave sin. Sexual encounters outside of marriage are punishable by law. In TABU, Iranians, religious or liberal, young and old, women and men define love and sexuality. They talk about their past and their experiences, but also choose poetic metaphors for the words unspoken. Poetry is of fundamental importance in Iran. It is omnipresent: in the cinema, in painting and, more generally, it is embedded in the culture of each and every individual.