English and Farsi with English subtitles, 2013, 91 minutes, color, Denmark, Iran, Germany, Norway and Sweden
In a rural village far from Tehran, the night sky glows brilliantly, unimpeded by light pollution, and a teenage girl named Sepideh dreams of becoming a renowned astronomer. Lugging a telescope as tall as herself, Sepideh spends her nights stargazing, inspired by Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian in space. But achieving such a lofty ambition is easier said than done for an Iranian girl. Her uncle threatens something rash if Sepideh persists in her unladylike behavior, and her widowed mother warns that she cannot pay for the necessary schooling. Unphased, Sepideh composes impassioned missives to Albert Einstein and keeps her eyes on the prize. Yet when she’s passed over for a university scholarship and suitors come knocking at the door, her determination is seriously tested.
The camera is everywhere we want it to be in this magical documentary—charting the strained, yet devoted, relationship between daughter and mother and capturing unexpected moments that will change Sepideh’s life forever. Shots of breathtaking constellations are windows into Sepideh’s interior world and the vast universe that enthralls her.
Director: Berit Madsen
Cinematographers: Mohammad Reza, Jahan Panah
Sound: Hassan Shabankareh
Editor: Peter Winther
Composers: Niklas Schak, Tin Soheili
Sound Design: Yngve Leidulv Sætre
Producers: Henrik Underbjerg, Stefan Frost