Kino x 3: Migrant/Lives
In the Name of Scheherazade or the First Beer Garden in Tehran
is many films folded into one: a rerouting of Orientalist narratives, a critique of German immigration bureaucracy, and an examination of filmmaking itself.
Iranian director Narges Kalhor – who sought political asylum in Germany in 2009 – plays herself as she struggles to finish her film In the Name of Scheherazade
. Her academic advisor, however, would much rather she make a straightforward documentary more legible to a German audience, about an Iranian woman trying to open the first beer garden in Tehran, where alcohol is illegal. The film-within-a-film interweaves a range of stories: an animated musical version of The Arabian Nights
, a live-action Scheherazade telling her stories to the king in front of a green screen, a queer Syrian immigrant performing his queerness in the hopes of being granted asylum, and, most of all, Kalhor herself, engaged in the politically charged, never-straightforward act of self-representation.