Director Nahid Persson is born in Iran, from a family who was actively opposed to the regime of the Shah. As a young Communist she was among the million of youth who cheered in the streets when the revolution broke and the Shah and his wife, empress Farah flew the country. Although they lived in the same country, the two women were separated by huge social and political differences, and for Nahid as for many Iranians the fairy tale lives of the royals had become the symbols of corruption and repression. Yet, soon after the revolution the dreams of democracy and of a better life proved to be illusions and Nahid and her family found themselves again on the side of the opposition, and eventually had to flew Iran.

(video source seventheart)

Thirty years after the revolution the Sweden-settled Persson looks back in this documentary to the time of the revolution, and tries and succeeds to meet the former empress, now living as a refugee, but a different kind of refugee, in order to understand not only what she has become, but also her own feelings towards a woman who decades ago symbolized for her evil, and now is living at least from some aspects a similar life of longing for the lost country. The film includes the interviews with Farah, and these are more or less what you can expect. The former empress is living the life of a high-class, jet-style refugee. Her views did not seem to have changed too much in the decades since the fall from power of the Shah. Neither does the director want to push too hard questions on her. These are asked a few time off-screen, but they seem to have been shared much more with the viewers of the film than with the subject of the interviews. Maybe it’s a sign of respect, or maybe it is the strong and fascinating personality of Farah who wins the heart of the director, or maybe the shared fate of the two women is more important than any other story told in the film. Made and issued to screens around the time when many other documentary films about the fall of the Shah and the Islamic revolution were made 30 years after the events, ‘The Queen and I’ is one of the more interesting, and the human story occupies a better place in this film than the political one.