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MONTREAL— On April 15, playwright, actress and filmmaker Shabnam Tolouei’s new documentary film, Dust-Flower-Flame, was screened at Concordia University in the J.A. DeSève Cinema at 7:30 pm. Over 160 patrons from all walks of life in Montreal; university professors, Film and theatre writers and directors, artists in various disciplines, women groups, students and eminent psychologists were in attendance. Questions and discussions went on for more than one hour and people had trouble to get separated from the author!
 
Dust-Flower-Flame is a documentary film about the life of Tahirih Qurratu l-ʿAyn, a woman of letters, the effect of whose presence on women’s equality movement in the 19th century during the reign of Qajar has continued up until today.  After the Islamic Revolution, it is forbidden to write or talk about Tahirih.  Even her name, or pages and chapters about her life, have been obliterated in later editions of historical or literary books published in Iran.  Tahirih was ultimately choked to death secretly at night by the order of two high-ranking Muslim clergy and the approval of Nasiru’l-din Shah.
 
Shabnam Tolouei, is an actress, writer, and director, a graduate in Film Directing from the Bagh-e-Ferdous Film School in Tehran, and in Theatre Studies from Université Paris Ouest in Nanterre. Having received numerous awards for her acting, directing, and writing, and after ten years of continuous work in Visual and Performing Arts, she was deprived of all kind of activities in the field of art in Iran because of her religious beliefs.  She has been living in France since the end of 2004. This film is written and directed by her in collaboration with Executive Producer Ladan Doorandish and produced by Persian Media Production.
 
The screening was followed by an animated and enthusiastic period of questions and discussion with the director of the film and was moderated by Dr. Neda Faregh, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Carleton University, and project founder of Virtual Psychology in Chad. Mention should be made that Ms. Tolouei’s son, Sepanta, who also played in the film, was present during the projection and posed with his Mom for the photograph displayed in this article. This is the second time that he appeared during a public presentation in North America with his Mom.
 
Ms. Tolouei was interviewed by a Persian News channel following the projection and attended a theatre workshop on Sunday before leaving Montreal. She mentioned that a French version of this documentary is being prepared and will be available before the end of the year.
 
This was one of the outstanding public presentations within past few years in Montreal thanks to a group of well organized volunteers who helped the event to be a great success.

 

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