North Texas Daily

Documentary sheds light on Iranian soccer players

Documentary sheds light on Iranian soccer players

March 27
16:44 2013

Courtney Garza

Staff Writer

The UNT women’s studies program provides students the opportunity to explore the view on athletics from behind the Iranian veil with the “Veil of Dreams” screening.

The Chilton Media Library will screen this film tomorrow night from 4 to 6 p.m. in room 111C.

Ever since the women’s studies program joined forces with the Multicultural Center in the Media Library four years ago, “Fem Flicks” has screened a wide variety of films on the last Wednesday of each month.

Fem Flicks is a free film series spotlighting women’s issues. This month the program has chosen “Veil of Dreams: Women’s Soccer and Islamic Tradition in Iran” to showcase a clash between sacred customs, such as Islamic women wearing veils, and contemporary athletic aspirations.

Women’s Studies Program Director Pauline Raffestin said the program is meant to inform students about the different kinds of films screened

“We try to have a variety and appeal to students in different films,” Raffestin said. “With this film we have global dimension with a topic we’ve haven’t covered before, which we hope brings much discussion.”

Each screening is followed by a brief discussion led by a guest speaker. For “Veil of Dreams,” the program chose RTVF film professor and international filmmaker Tania Khalaf with her own experience with Middle Eastern customs.

Born and raised in Lebanon, Khalaf grew up in a male-dominated society, which allowed her to readily relate to the Iranian women’s soccer team who dare to push traditional limits.

As the documentary covers what it’s like for these women to play soccer with a headscarf, UNT students will be able to ask questions and discuss with Khalaf.

“When people see a veiled woman, they think she does nothing but sit at home,” Khalaf said. “When you see a documentary like this, you see these women can do so much. I‘m always interested in getting people’s perceptions before and after presenting a film to see if it contradicts what they already know or adds to their knowledge of it.”

Uyen Trans-Parsons, director of multicultural programming for the Multicultural Center, said the film’s questioning of the norm is what initially drew interest to it.

“’Veil of Dreams’ stuck out to us because of the athletic component to the film as it’s Iranian women playing soccer as they challenge society,” Trans-Parsons said. “I think it’s something that a lot of people in our campus don’t know enough about.”

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