The Other Side of Burka
By Mehrdad Oskouei
Original title – Az Pass-e Borgheh
International title – The Other Side of Burka
On Gheshm, an island to the south of Iran, women live under the strict, repressive laws of a patriarchal society. The suffering such repression entails manifests itself in a multitude of physical and mental illnesses. These illnesses, however, are held to be due to possession by an evil spirit. Rather than receiving medical treatment, women have to undergo the Zar ceremony, a form of exorcism. Despite the dangers they face, this film, for the first time, lets these women express themselves. Their real nature is thus revealed from beneath their Burkas.
Written & Directed by – Mehrdad Oskouei
Directors of Photography – Ebrahim Saeedi & Mehrdad Oskouei
Editing – Ebrahim Saeedi
Original Music – Ali Samadpour
Sound Designer & Mix – Hossein Mahdavi
Sound recordists – Hossein Ghourchian & Shahrooz Tavakol
Assistant Director – Shahrooz Tavakol & Reza Hosseinpour
Producer – Mehrdad Oskouei
Production Company – Oskouei Films
Educational Media Reviews Online
‘The Other Side of Burka’
Reviewed by Kayo Denda, Rutgers University
Awards & Festivals
● Winner of: ‘Best Film’ – Munchen International Documentary Film Festival, Germany, 2005
● Winner of: ‘Golden Dragon’, Best Documentary Film – KraKow International Film Festival, Poland, 2005.
● Winner of: ‘Special Jury Award’ – Montreal Documentary Human Right Film Festival, Canada, 2006.
● Winner of: ‘Special Jury Award’ – Mediawave International Arts Festival, Gyor, Hungary, 2006.
● IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2004.
● Human Rights International Film Festival of Geneva, Switzerland, 2005.
● Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece, 2005.
● International Film Festival Human Rights, Bologna, Italy, 2005.
● Munchen International Documentary Film Festival, Germany, 2005.
● KraKow International Film Festival, Poland, 2005.
● Amnesty International Film Festival, San Francisco, USA, 2005.
● Insular Intrenational Film Festival, France. 2005.
● European Intrenational Short Films, Lewisburg, Germany, 2005.
● Leipzig Documentary International Film Festival, Germany, 2005.
● Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal, Canada, 2005.
● Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China, 2005.
● Pune Intrenational Film Festival, India, 2006.
● Montreal Documentary Human Right Film Festival, Canada, 2006.
● Mediawave International Arts Festival, Gyor, Hungary, 2006.
● Amakula Film Festival, Uganda, 2006
● School of Oriental & African Studies (University of London/ SOAS), UK, 2009.