Screening: Iranian Girl Racer

Screening Sunday 24th February, 2008

Iranian Girl Racer follows the fortunes of Laleh Seddigh who has, improbably, become that country’s national motorsports champion. It also explores the wider realities for women in Iran, a country riven with contradictions. It shows how the popular image of a nation where half the citizens are subjugated and burka-clad is inaccurate.

We meet a variety of colourful characters from Farida, one of Iran’s first women long-distance bus drivers, to a wealthy young man, a Tony Soprano clone, who takes us on a clandestine trip into the sleazy night-time world of mobile speed-dating and an activity known in Iran as Daghtar Bazaee – or “Girl Play.”

For all their education and ambition, however, women in Iran must still respect Islamic law and dress codes or face fines or arrest. They are worth “half as much as a man” in courts of law and face execution for “moral” crimes such as adultery.

Against this backdrop our high-octane heroine, Laleh Seddigh, has become something of a poster girl for women seeking to better their lot. But as we find out, her desire to succeed at all costs is to cost her dear.

Producer/Director: Darius Bazargan
Executive Producer: Louise Norman
BBC This World Production
Length: 30 mins