With the help of Iranian-born filmmaker Mostafa Heravi, we made three short animations about the everyday struggles of Iranian citizens in and around Tehran. Every story shows an insight in the day to day of those living under the weight of a fast moving society and supports values and morals to help people better themselves: maintaining a healthy family in a toxic environment; healing relationships and creating communities; providing a future for those in need.
In the second of the three animations we follow a small girl in the midst of the traffic that runs throughout the entire city. She crawls inbetween the cars, trucks and buses with a small bag of sometimes flowers, sometimes newspapers and sometimes candy. Every few car a hands comes out of one of the cars and hands her a few coins in return for one of her items.
This is the story of thousands of kids in Tehran who have to struggle to get by. we wanted to address this, not just by showing what is happening but also offering a solution. With soft-spoken poetry in Farsi we give those on the other side of the window a choice: instead of handing her money, you could give her some clothes. Water. And if you are feeling really generous, an education. And help her move on and make something of her life.
It was a thrill to work in a foreign language that I don't speak myself, which moved me to make the imagery as clear as possible without the need for words as all. The short film was received well and has been watched by thousands of Iranians who hopefully have taken its message to heart.
The last of the three stories was about pollution. Tehran is located in the valley of the mountain Tochal, and the surrounding landscape is filled with forests and vegetation. Industry, deforestation and transportation threaten this. A small family takes it on themselves to leave the confounds of the city, leave their car at home and explore the outdoors. In the end, when they put out the campfire the dad makes sure to throw some sand on top. Because taking care of the environment starts with you.
Our first story was also about a family. A father, a mother, a daughter and a son. All of them walk seperately across the skyline of a growing city. As the sky turns darker they all grow moody, agitated until finally a shot of lightening strikes in front of them. When they huddle together they realize that they've missed the comfort of each other and walk along hand in hand. Behind them, the city starts to regain its color and the world becomes a better place.
Production year 2014
Director Mostafa Heravi
All works © Boriz Baatsen, 2017.