The Color of Love (2004)
One week each year Iranians stay out all night. Women abandon legal curfews. Men weep. Communities gather to mourn their saint's death, ask that wishes be granted, give thanks for prayers answered. While this week showcases Iran's most restrictive religious elements, it offers openings for this culture's most intimate connections. Is a change in the perception of love inherently political because it affects individuals and their view of the world? As we follow three couples negotiating love, we learn freedom is not what we assume it is and love is more than we imagine it to be. Using the weeklong Ashura festival as a framework, THE COLOR OF LOVE documents the changing face of love and politics in the ancient city of Shiraz. As the older generation performs cathartic rituals, the city's youth are left to their own devices. They spend this time cruising the public squares, hoping for a sideways glance or a brief note from a potential lover. The film's 29-year-old, New York-based director investigates the way these shifting mores have surfaced in a culture entrenched in traditional values and how they have been influenced by western culture in the form of satellite television and the Internet. By interviewing different generations of Iranians, Keshavarz attempts to uncover how ideas of love, romance, marriage and sex have evolved in a society where politics and culture are inextricably linked.