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Available for rent


France, 2016

Production : L'Atelier documentaire

Programmed by Claudia Maci





Madame Saïdi paints the portrait of an unusual old Iranian woman. She’s the mother of a martyr and a well-known personality of Ali Abad, her popular neighbourhood located in the south of Tehran. At an advanced age, Madame Saïdi has become a movie star to everyone’s complete surprise. She’s an eccentric and paradoxical character in a very complicated society. She does all the contrary of what we would expect. Madame Saïdi is always ready to laugh, and above all, to play.

Tënk's opinion

“I’m an actress, you know. If you’ve got a role, don’t hesitate to call me. I live on the corner of the street. I’m Mrs Saïdi.” In 2007, a woman from Teheran in her seventies, a comic actress and the mother of a “martyr”, introduces herself to two French filmmakers who accept her invitation. Seven years later, they return to Iran to make a film about her. Madame Saïdi sets her terms, conditions and pay as an actress who dramatises her own life, imposing her own conception of film and documentary making, her own pace and rules. The camera follows her movements and words: inside the mosque or during the casting, as she carries out her rituals against the evil eye or while she’s deep in prayer at her son’s grave. Mrs Saïdi plays Mrs Saïdi with as much care and attention as if she were playing the part of someone else and without ever denying the coexistence of the simulation of reality and reality itself. Just like in a lesson in film studies, the movie reveals its inner workings right from the opening shot, and, with its doubts, reflections and hesitations, turns into a meta-documentary.

Claudia Maci
Managing Director of Festival dei Popoli

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4