The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Tehran Tourist + Discussion with Director Roxanne Varzi

Join us as we welcome anthropologist and filmmaker Roxanne Varzi with a free screening of her documentary Tehran Tourist.

In her second experimental documentary, Varzi travels back to Tehran and decides that the best way to see a place with a multitude of preconceived notions attached to it is through the eyes of a child. Tehran Tourist is a project in guerrilla filmmaking, shot mostly on an iPhone 4s, hand held and on the fly. It moves from the Archaeology museum in Tehran to a village in Kurdistan (recently devastated by an earthquake) to playgrounds and school rooms — in and out of political landscapes and allegory to elucidate an Iran that very few are privy to. This is not your ordinary armchair anthropologist, but one who explores youthful notions of identity and place and belonging, as a child tries to make sense of where he is and where he came from while introducing the American viewer to an Iran that very few are privy to.

About Roxanne Varzi
Roxanne Varzi is a Professor of Anthropology and Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine. She has a Ph.D. in Social Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University and was the recipient of the first Fulbright for fieldwork to Iran since the Revolution. She has published in Le Monde Diplomatique, Eastern Art Report and the London Review of Books and quoted in the LA Times, New York Times. Her short stories have appeared in two anthologies of Iranian-American writing as well as The New York Press and in Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly for which she won a Short Story Award for Fiction. Her novel Last Scene Underground: An ethnographic novel of Iran is won a 2016 Independent Publishers Gold Medal award for fiction.