Our Summer in Tehran


(Phone Message) “Hey, Justine, I just wanted to say, ‘Come back safely.'”

May 16, 2007.  Tomorrow morning, my son and I leave for Iran.

(Phone Message) “Hi, Justine, I want you to be careful and maybe not mention to people that you’re Jewish.”

(In-flight Announcement) “. . . We do ask you to respect the Islamic tradition here in Iran.”

I’m going to Iran at a time when my government, with the help of the mainstream news media, seems to be building a case for war against Iran.  Before that happens, I want to find a different kind of image of Iranian people, of the ordinary, of everyday life.  I want to meet Iranian mothers, fathers, and children, people who don’t make headline news.  I want to meet them, not as a journalist, but just as a mom, with my son.

Our Summer in Tehran Trailer



Christmas Tree

Park Melat

Amusement Park

Ice Cream

“Normally you don’t think of Iran as a boring place, a place where people go to the supermarket. . . .  I wanted to be able to show mothers and fathers and children and grandparents laughing, smiling and living their lives.” — Justine Shapiro

Justine Shapiro (Producer/Director) was born in South Africa and grew up in Berkeley, California.  After graduating from Tufts University, Shapiro spent 10 years as a travel show host for the PBS series GlobeTrekker, which took her off the beaten track to over 40 countries.  In 1996, she co-founded the non-profit production company Promises Films with B.Z. Goldberg.  Her Academy Award-nominated, Emmy award-winning feature documentary Promises (2001) was released in over twenty countries and was nationally broadcast on the PBS series POV in the US.  For more information about Our Summer in Tehran, visit <mysummerintehran.com>.  The text above the videos is a partial transcript of another excerpt from Our Summer in Tehran.

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