When COVID-19 hit Iran earlier his year, filmmaker Jamshid Mojaddadi was working on a project about a zoo – not far from his home and office in Mashhad, a city in the northeast of the country.
Then, suddenly, like so many people in this extraordinary year, his life was turned upside down as emergency government restrictions began to bite, businesses shut down and people retreated behind closed doors.
Cut adrift from his crew and his usual subject matter, he began documenting his own daily life instead.
The resulting film – made for People and Power in collaboration with his colleagues in the United Kingdom, Ladan Anoushfar and Anson Hartford – is a fascinating and intimate portrait of life under lockdown in a country that is often misunderstood by the rest of the world, and which, even before the coronavirus pandemic, struggled with the economic consequences of international sanctions.
But this is not a film about global politics. It is a simple human story that echoes the personal experiences of so many of us in recent months – from Wuhan to New York, from New Delhi to Doha – of the small everyday battles everyone has fought to stay positive amid the isolation and anxiety caused by this dreadful disease.
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