Two years ago I wrote about the project to tell the story of the martyrdom of Mona, a Baha’i teenager, along with 9 other Baha’i women in Shiraz. At the time, I was hopeful but guarded in my optimism:
On the one hand, I know that Mel Gibson and company have oodles of money to throw around after the record shattering success of their movie. But on the other hand, Hollywood is notorious for being a black hole for such worthy projects.
There have been many false starts before to making a major motion picture directly related to the Baha’i Faith. But I’m glad to see that Jack Lenz and his team have gained momentum and are into pre-production. It seems more and more likely that this project will in fact be getting off the ground.
In fact, casting has already started. The role of Mona’s mother will be played by Shohreh Aghdashloo. The Oscar nominated actress is the most high profile person to be linked to the project, so far. Her involvement is fantastic as it will bring prestige to the movie. But if such high calibre actors are also cast for the other major roles… well, lets just hope Jack Lenz has secured some deep pockets to finance the movie.
Here’s the official ‘blurb’ :
â€?Monaâ€™s Dreamâ€? is a feature film that tells the story of Mona Mahmudnizhad and her family. Mona was 16 years old when she was arrested in the Iranian city of Shiraz along with scores of other Bah??â€™?s. The Islamic Republic of Iran, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, had set out to rid their country and their revolution of the Bah??â€™? Community, the largest religious minority in Iran. Mona and her family were victims of their cruel and intolerant persecution. She and her father were arrested on October 22nd, 1982 and suffered intense psychological and physical torture for several months. Jamshid, her father, was executed on March 12th, 1983 and Mona and nine of her female companions were executed on June 18th, 1983 by hanging.
I didn’t know that she was arrested at the same time as her father, nor that he had also been killed. Follow this link to learn more about Mona and her life.
The official website for the movie is at Mona’s Dream. If you have your sound on, turn down the volume. You can keep up to date on the progress of the project by checking back at the website. And if you are interested to get involved by contributing your talent, contact Mehr Mansouri who is the casting agent.
To tide you over until the movie comes out, here is the video for the song “Mona with the Children”:
Many thanks to Lara Kearns who was kind enough to forward this information in a comment for the original post.