Darde-moshtarak

(1995, 90 min.)

Common Plight was my very first experience as a director in Iran. While I did speak Farsi, I had been away from Tehran for a long time. Hence it was a unique and challenging experience. Common Plight spoke of love openly at a time that no other film did. The film story takes place over the course of a single dinner portraying the lives of four people. Two men and two women share their personal experiences and hidden life stories. Much was based on the life of Forrogh Farokhazad and one of her brothers, a Doctor whom I met at a dinner party where I wrote the first lines of Common Plight. Forrogh was a modern poet in the 1930s whose poetry has had an impact on generations. She remains an icon and is adored by the youth for her openness in matters of love and sexuality.

Common Plight was considered to be a scandal from the beginning. The film had limited circulation, was rarely sent to any festivals and was only screened for one week in one movie theater and then informally banned! Two year later, I was able to screen the film for 6 months but with no advertising. While there have been difficulties with this film from the beginning, the struggles and subsequent screening opened a door of friendship and understanding with the youth. For this I am grateful.