Home / Our Catalog / Iran / Shahrbanoo



Hamid Rahmanian, Melissa Hibbard


57 minutes

Produced by:
Melissa Hibbard

English & Farsi with English subtitles


"Shahrbanoo captures with remarkable sensitivity the complex levels on which people can relate. . . for all the cultural, class and national barriers between them."
- Paul Malcolm, L.A. Weekly

Ordering Information
Available for online sale
Available for online sale

One of the most popular films on Iran to air on PBS!

The encounter of an American woman with a super-conservative Iranian family living in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Tehran was surely not an accident waiting to happen. At the center of the story is Melissa, an American woman who visits her new husband's family at their home in Tehran. There, she is befriended by Shahrbanoo, who, unbeknownst to her own family, has been moonlighting as Melissa's mother-in-law's housekeeper for more than a quarter of a century. Shahrbanoo invites Melissa (and her husband, with his ever-present camera in tow) to a family gathering where she is treated to an intense cultural exchange about subjects ranging from women's place in society to American foreign policy. But this is not a movie about politics. Rather, it's an alternatively hilarious, harrowing and heartrending testimony to the hidden ties that connect us across vast cultural gulfs. Directed by Hamid Rahmanian and Melissa Hibbard.

“The sort of cultural exchange one wants to bottle and sell all over Washington.”
- New York Magazine

This film is available with a Digital Site License (DSL), which allows colleges, universities, or libraries to encode, locally host, and stream the film to their community on a closed, password-protected system.

Rental Information
This film is available from AFD for public screenings and television broadcast. For information regarding rental rates and formats, please contact [email protected] for institutional/non-theatrical screenings, or [email protected] for theatrical, festival, television, or other bookings.

Home | Our Catalog | Film Festivals | Order Info | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us