Asian Cinema Fund 2018
2018 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund
A camera comes into an Iranian desert village community and becomes the target of debate between a group of housewives in charge of a filming project and the conservative views that challenge them. As the women film their struggle for higher income and more personal freedom, they use the camera to explore the changes in their own lives and their community.
In building the project that would become the film Castle, I aimed to bring the viewer as close to the women’s world as possible through the participatory process. I admit I was skeptical at first about how handing cameras over to lay people could overcome the biases of film making. Isn’t language both the foundation and problem in any art form, the process of defining and overcoming the communication boundaries to express a complex sense of inner truth? Throughout their process of self-discovery with the camera, I have learned what cinema can achieve and how it can transform itself and its subjects. Their footage reveals an inner truth through the simple but poetic expression of everyday life. In Castle, the women have shown that meaning and beauty can be found not in what you see but how you see it, in presenting it through the eyes of the beholder.