The Dinner Party – مهمانی شام

Festival Year:
Director: Neda Jebelli
Producer: Reza Baastani
Screenwriter: Neda Jebelli

In this film, an uptight mother’s perfect party is threatened when the centerpiece cake gets held up in the traffic of a political protest. As her meticulous plans unravel, the power shifts within this domestic microcosm begin to eerily echo those of the outside world.

Making this film was a deeply personal journey for me. I was a teenager in Tehran during the Green Revolution, and I always knew I wanted to tell a story about my formative experience in Tehran during 2009, experiencing the gulf between my perspective and what was being depicted in the media — both in Iran and in the States. But rather than setting the film in the middle of the protests or in a courtroom, I wanted to examine it through an oft-overlooked lens: the domestic feminine space. How does this image-obsession, this obfuscation, this confusion of signified and signifiers bleed into domestic domains?

Through the microcosm of the feminized kitchen, I wanted to explore the parallel between the consequences of this mother’s iron fist and the fracturing public raging just beyond the gates of her home.

This is my directorial debut and my first time working in Tehran, and I had an amazing experience working alongside some incredible artists and performers. It was a lifechanging experience and I’m so happy to be able to share our work now. Thank you so much for watching, and I hope you enjoy.