The Shah of Iran was an incompetent and somewhat brutal leader, with a much younger wife, whose rule was a principal cause of the accession to power of the still worse regime that succeeded his own. A former communist and opponent of his, herself exiled by the following government, now sets out to make a film about her life in exile and also that of the Shah's widow, who has been out of their common homeland for even longer. It's an interesting idea: to what extent do the two women, who once stood on opposite sides, find common cause after years abroad? But unfortunately, getting the film made requires the widow's cooperation, and she is (quite naturally) extremely cautious. Thus the film-maker is forced to tip-toe around her subject, asking none of the obvious questions (after 30 years, the ex-Queen still lives in luxury with servants) and instead agonising in pieces to camera about her own moral uncertainty at making nice with (and to some extent, genuinely liking) her former monarch. Just sometimes, the story of how a film-maker comes to make a film is more interesting than the film's ostensible subject; but like a football referee, usually the best film-makers are personally invisible. Instead, this film tells of its director's personal journey in making it perhaps mainly because without this, there is little more than sympathetic (and some might say sycophantic) footage of a woman who, for all the hardships in her life, has clearly never been in the slightest bit of danger of having to do a day's proper work. My sympathy lies elsewhere.
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