Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Seven Winters in Tehran

It is July 7, 2007. 19-year-old interior designer Reyhaneh Jabbari is supposed to be meeting a client, but soon realises that she has walked into a trap. In self-defense, she fatally stabs a man who tries to rape her, and escapes. Her attacker was an influential man, and his family, intent on defending his honor, are connected to the state and backed by the patriarchal society.

The struggle against injustice takes seven years. During that time, Reyhaneh was moved from one prison to another. Her family, previously unfamiliar with the justice system of their country, find themselves living in a nightmare. The documentary follows the long period of uncertainty, during which Reyhaneh’s case received shows of support from around the world.

Despite international outcry, Reyhaneh was executed by hanging on October 25, 2014. Director Steffi Niederzoll ja Reyhaneh’s mother Shole Pakravan collaborated to tell a story that concerns countless Iranian families: in 2023 alone, Iran executed over 600 people. This film seeks to give a name to the victims through scenes from home movies, interviews with family members, and letters written from prison, read by actor Zar Amir Ebrahimi.

Omar Fasolah (translated by Mira Sairanen)

Content warning: discussions of violence and sexual violence

Original Title: Sieben Winter in Teheran
Language: Farsi
Subtitles: English
Length: 97 min
Age Limit: K16
Year: 2023
Production Country: Germany, France

Director: Steffi Niederzoll
Producer: Melanie Andernach, Knut Losen
Production Company: Made in Germany Filmproduktion
Screenplay: Steffi Niederzoll
Editing: Nicole Kortlücke
Cinematographer: Julia Daschner
Music: Flemming Nordkrog