From a Reader:

Nasrin—If you haven’t seen this film yet, you are missing out…



I second the comment by feminist Gloria Steinem on the recently released documentary film Nasrin, about a courageous woman political prisoner in Iran: “Nasrin will make you angry at injustice, and give you hope. This is a must-see film!” Author (The Handmaid’s Tale) Margaret Atwood also gave her strong endorsement, saying, “Nasrin Sotoudeh is an extraordinarily brave woman. I urge you to see this timely and important film!” Jeannette Catsoulis is on point in her review in the New York Times: “[Nasrin’s] courage, like that of so many in this film, is breathtaking.” My translation—if you haven’t seen this film yet, you are missing out on an uplifting, ideological treat.

The film has been officially released into 26 virtual theaters across the U.S. and will be available until January 5, 2021. The list is available on the film’s website and refreshingly includes a breadth of theaters in areas such as Taos, New Mexico; Davis and Larkspur, California; Duluth, Minnesota; Paonia, Colorado; Concord, New Hampshire; Salem, Winston, and Fayetteville, North Carolina; as well as Patchogue and Millerton, New York. There is also a page on the film website for hosting or sponsoring a virtual screening.

The broad response to this film can help break open the needed and urgent international struggle to demand justice and freedom for ALL of Iran’s political prisoners—as was initially called for by the “Burn the Cage Free the Birds” campaign.

As was said at revcom previously, “Nasrin is a powerful movie by filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross, narrated by Academy Award winner Olivia Colman. It includes an original song performed by internationally known artist Angélique Kidjo. The film traces the defiant and courageous journey of Nasrin Sotoudeh—Iranian lawyer, political prisoner, human rights and women’s rights activist and exceptional human being. It was filmed inside Iran by people risking arrests and imprisonment to bring this inspiring ‘candle in the dark’ to the bright screen.” 

On December 2, Nasrin’s temporary medical release (on November 7) was revoked by the Islamic regime in Iran and she has been sent back to prison, even as she continues to suffer from COVID-19 infection and a severe heart condition. Nasrin was arrested and sent to prison in 2018 for representing the “Girls of Revolution Street”—defending women who were protesting Iran’s law that requires women to wear head scarfs (or hijab). Sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes (!), she put her life on the line and went on a hunger strike to demand freedom for all political prisoners in Iran. Before this, Nasrin had already spent three years in prison (2010-2013) for her work as a human rights attorney.

The New York Times reviewer noted how Nasrin’s model of “implacable selflessness” came through in this film. And the online review by Brian Shaer on the Film Threat website described Nasrin as “unflappable, indestructible, and indefatigable.…”

But a larger, insightful lesson is posed in the December 18 LA Times review by Kevin Crust, who writes: “Once upon a time, a documentary such as ‘Nasrin’ could be viewed in the U.S. with a degree of smug ‘can’t happen here’ detachment. Recent events have certainly undermined that assumption and make the already impressive life and work of Nasrin Sotoudeh all the more relevant and essential.”



Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.