Terrestrial Verses is comprised of nine vignettes that shed light on the everyday struggles of ordinary citizens in Tehran, Iran, as they grapple with an increasingly oppressive way of life. The movie takes viewers on a journey from birth to death, starting with the controversies surrounding the naming of a newborn. It then delves into various stories, including that of a frustrated filmmaker facing censorship and a teenage girl challenging her school’s rules after being caught with a boy on a motorcycle in what is a particularly bold scene in the film.
Directors Alireza Khatami and Ali Asgari skillfully depict the lives of working-class Iranians as they resist the injustices and absurdities perpetuated by Iran’s religious and bureaucratic systems. This emotionally nuanced and visually stunning drama offers a glimpse into the ordinary people and situations that make up daily life in Iran, infusing the narrative with biting humor and captivating cinematography.
Introduction by Samhita Sunya (VAFF).