First image that comes to mind is that I will get on a plane going to Holland. My heart is pounding and I have so many inner conversations in my mind with my niece and her children, because I have really missed her.
We were supposed to migrate to Holland together in the year 2000. Unfortunately my father had a heart attack and I had to stay in Iran. For a long time I had no news form her until a couple of months ago. Now in my mind after 15 year of being apart, i imagine her coming to the airport and picking me up. Up on arrival, at her home, we will sit at the kitchen table and have a conversation that will take 15 years to finish… Or maybe I will just complement her on how beautiful her house is and then I will ask her about all these years that she has put behind her and what has happened. She would tell me about how much she misses Iran and her relatives in Iran. I want her to tell me everything. And I want her to ask me all about Iran and the relatives. I think she lives a good life and she is well off in Holland and she would probably thinks that I have been having a good time in Iran with family and friends and that she has been missing out on all the fun. But when we start talking, we realize that In these 15 years our lives have been actually not so different from each other, after all. We laugh together and have a cup of Iranian tea in The Netherlands…
Two years ago when I was travelling in Europe, I had a good talk with Migrant Iranians about their experience abroad. Their stories were amazing, but all of them were very different. About a year ago, I found myself in the middle of a discussion between Iranians who have been migrating outside Iran and have returned and those who are planning to leave Iran. Because of these events the thought passed my mind that which destiny would I have shared with these people, had I migrated to Holland in the year 2000?
This thought inspired me to investigate and to interview all these people to understand the “why’s” and the “if’s”. Why did some leave? Why did some of them return? Why did they decide to leave to begin with? The stories that I want to capture on film, are about the underground life in Iran and the stories of the nightlife in Iran, that even most of Iranians themselves have not seen until now: Those Iranians who are forced to migrate without a choice (like homosexuals) and those foreigners who migrated to Iran for love and marriage.
In the first part of the documentary, which is shot in Iran, I have been able to talk to some people that are thinking about migration and those who have migrated and have returned. I have also met many friends that are willing to talk about this on camera.
In the second part of the movie which will be shot in The Netherlands we will meet my niece to see how she is doing and what changes have taken place in her life after migration. I will also meet with Iranians who have successfully been able to adjust their lives and live a good life in Holland. It is my great wish to also be able to interview Iranian migrants in the USA, Canada and Australia.
My observation so far is that people need a very firm reason for migration, because emigrating is never easy. It is not just a matter of trend or coveting the life of other people abroad. But the obvious fact is that this desire for migration or weariness of staying has become a worldwide phenomenon.