There are few individuals that make such a large impact that their legacy will live on through hearts and minds of many. Renowned for her human rights activism work in Iran, Nasrin Sotoudeh has also suffered as a political prisoner for her work in the field with trumped up charges made against her and threats made on her family. Documentarian Jeff Kaufman secretly filmed Nasrin in Iran to showcase the will and strength one has to do what is right in the face of constant scrutiny and seemingly unsurpassable odds in Nasrin.
The film gives us a brief history into Nasrin’s life growing up and how she met her husband, Reza Khandan. It is very early on that Nasrin had a zest to help others and when someone randomly mentioned becoming a lawyer that is exactly what she did. As testified by those who grew up with her, Nasrin certainly did not have to choose the path she did as she could have lived a modest and happy life in Iran. However in a highly religious, male dominated country Nasrin chose to speak up for those who did not have a voice. She sought to help those that this country heavily sided against in particular situations with little or no merit other than in their eyes they had done wrong; this also combined with a multitude of police and political issues was a fight Nasrin saw right to go full head on against. It was only a matter of time before the system went against her and such charges as spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security were made forcing her imprisonment. Through inner strength, dedication and power to overcome Nasrin resisted being pressured and even went on a hunger strike to oppose her corrupt forces. Nasrin’s stand made headlines across the globe and many advocated for her release and unjust treatment; a statement so strong that she was released early with no reason given.
Sadly Nasrin’s aspirations of doing helping others only opened herself to another arrest. Five years after her first imprisonment Nasrin was charged with numerous crimes such as espionage, dissemination of propaganda and other ludicrous crimes that resulted in a term of 38 years in prison plus 148 lashes. Suffice to say, this film is not only a testament to someone who continues to stand up for what she believes in but also the will it takes keep pushing forward regardless of the odds against you. Kaufman’s film allows us to meet a remarkable woman who at all costs continues relentlessly so that these crimes against humanity can be noticed and changed.
3 out of 5
Film is available until Tuesday 1/5/21 HERE
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