#8: Be Like Others

#8: Be Like Others
Directed by: Tanaz Eshaghian
2008 / 74 mins
Persian with English Subtitles

More than 20 years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa to make sex change permissible for “diagnosed transsexuals”.  “Be Like Others” is an intimate and unflinching look at life in Iran through the eyes of young men choosing to undergo sex-change surgery, Be Like Others explores the implications and sacrifices of those living on the fringes of an Islamic society.

Tanaz Eshaghian was born in Iran in 1974 and emigrated to the United States shortly after the 1979 revolution.  After making “I Call Myself Persian” (2002) and “Love Iranian-American Style” (2006), Eshaghian returned to Iran for the first time in 25 years for her début feature-length film “Be Like Others,” a provocative look at men in Iran choosing to undergo sex-change surgery.

“Be Like Others” premiered at the  2008 Sundance film festival and went on to win the Teddy special jury prize at the Berlin Film Festival as well as the ELSE Siegessaule Reader’s Choice Award and was nominated for an Emmy award. It has been invited to over 30 film festivals worldwide and had its US television premiere on HBO on June 2009.

 In 2011 she finished “Love Crimes of Kabul”, a documentary shot inside a women’s prison in Kabul Afghanistan focusing on “moral crimes” for HBO.