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// Films // Be Like Others

Be Like Others

Tanaz Eshaghian / United States - Canada - Iran / 2008 / 74 ' / Persian / S.T. English


Sandy Patch
Tanaz Eshaghian
Henning Lohner
Christoph Jörg & Alexandra Kerry
Production Management: Su Kim
Score Mixer: Luc Bonnet

Awards & Festivals

2008 Sundance Film Festival
2008 Berlin Film Festival
2008 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
2008 Winner, Berlin International Film Festival, Amnesty International Film Prize - Special Mention
2008 Winner, Berlin International Film Festival, Reader Jury of the "Siegessäule"
2008 Winner, Berlin International Film Festival, Teddy Jury Award
2008 Nominated, Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

In Production

A provocative look at young Iranian men choosing to undergo sex- change surgery.


An intimate and unflinching look at life in Iran, seen through the lens of those living at its fringes, BE LIKE OTHERS is a provocative look at a generation of young men choosing to undergo sex change surgery.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country with strict social mores and traditional values, sex-change operations are legal. Over twenty years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) making sex change permissible for "diagnosed transsexuals." Yet homosexuality is still punishable by death. With Iran's international arms negotiations dominating news headlines worldwide, a very private kind of drama is unfolding behind the scenes. Highly feminine and attracted to members of the same sex, yet forced to live in secret for fear of retribution, a generation of young Iranian men are adopting an identity legally allowed to them—transsexual. In pursuit of what one man calls simply, "a decent life," they flock to the country's best-established gender reassignment surgeon, Dr. Bahram Mir Jalali, and are counseled by 24-year-old Vida, a post-op woman who claims to be "reborn" but warns of dangers that still await.

Iranian-American filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian accompanies several young men as they contemplate and prepare for their transformation, then follows them into and out of surgery. Intimate and unflinching, BE LIKE OTHERS is a fascinating look at those on the fringes of Iranian life—those looking for acceptance through the most radical of means.


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