USA | 2006 | 63 mins
Sexual purity, money, and a mother’s worries come together in this humorous guided tour of America’s status-obsessed Iranian Jewish community. As Tanaz’s Iranian family attempts to marry her off now that he’s reached the age of 25, she vacillates between soppy American ideas of romance, and a more business-like Persian approach, and in the end may be unable to execute either.
Tanaz Eshaghian (Persian: طناز اسحاقیان; born 8 September 1974 in Iran) is an Iranian-American documentary filmmaker.
For her début feature-length film Be Like Others, a provocative look at men in Iran choosing to undergo sex change surgery, she returned to Iran for the first time in 25 years. Be Like Others, a BBC 2, France 5, ITVS production, premiered at the 2008 Sundance film festival and went on to win the Teddy special jury prize at the Berlin Film Festival, Best Documentary at Noor Iranian Film Festival, as well as the ELSE Siegessaule Reader’s Choice Award and was nominated for an Emmy award. It has been invited to over thirty film festivals worldwide and had its U.S. television premiere on HBO in June 2009. In 2011, she completed Love Crimes of Kabul, a documentary film inside a women’s prison in Kabul, Afghanistan, focusing on “moral crimes”, for HBO.
Her first film I Call Myself Persian, completed in 2002, told the story of how Iranians living in the U.S. were affected by prejudice and xenophobia after the September 11 attacks. In Love Iranian-American Style, completed in 2006, she filmed her traditional Iranian family, both in New York and Los Angeles, California, documenting their obsession with marrying her off and her own cultural ambivalence.
Her films have also screened at the Museum of Modern Art and in the Walter Reade cinema at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.