Mother of the Earth

Does the Earth need us? or is it us who need Clean Water and Clean Soil?

Director: Mahnaz Afzali

Documentary | 52 Mins


"Hayedeh Shirzadi" received a PhD in Ecology and created the only 100% waste recycling plant in her city of Kermanshah. She wants to do this in every city in Iran.


This documentary takes a brief look at Hayedeh Shirzadi and her husband’s shared life, love and work and their attempt to put an end to the dumping and burial of urban garbage. Due to their hard work and ingenuity, 100% of the city of Kermanshah’s garbage is now recycled and the bio waste is made into organic fertilizers.

Shirzadi studied recycling in Germany. She returned to Iran in order to clean up the environment, to stop the destruction of arable land, and to curb air and water pollution. Her first attempts were ignored but she kept at the local government until she was successful in getting the job of waste manager, first in her birth place Gilane Gharb and then in Kermanshah. She also traveled around Iran and helped establish recycling center in many cities. Today Kermanshah’s waste is all recycled and converted into useful products.

She is an energetic leader and the fate of the earth is her main concern. Shirzadi has recently launched a site for recycling construction rubble.

Film Trailer


Writer & Director: Mahnaz Afzali / Editor: Shirin Barghnavard / Cinematographer: Reza Teimouri / Composer: Iman Vaziri / Sound Designer: Amir Hosein Ghassemi / Sound Recordist: Ahmad Reza Taee / Assistant Director & Production Manager: Abed Nicpoo / Color Grading: Hamidreza Fatourehchian, Sindokht Rahimian / Still Photographers: Abbas Kowsari, Peyman Hooshmandzadeh / Graphic Designer: Hamed Jaberha / Project Advisors: Mahmoud Nazzari, Hossein Akbari / Research Management Team (EDF): Firouzeh Saber, Zahra Emrani / Researcher: Alireza Khoshbakht

With presence by: Hayedeh Shirzadi, Edmund Lempges

Production Sponsors: Mark Amin, Aliasghar Hajibaba, Tabarestan Steel Foundry, Iran vice Presidency of Women and Family Affairs, Mahmoud Nazzari, Dozhpad, Shila Fastfood / Distribution Sponsor: Saman Bank

Artistic Consultant: Rakhshan Banietemad

Producer: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

A Product of KARA Film Studio


Technical Info

  • Madare Zamin
  • 52 min., English subtitle, HD, Color, Iran, 2017
  • Persian, German, Kurdish
  • 16:9 or 1:1.85
  • Stereo
  • DCP / Blu-Ray / DVD / H.264 File


  • Honorary Diploma from the 5th International Women's Film Festival (Cinema d'idea), Rome, Italy, 5 - 11 October 2021
  • Best Documentary Film, 9th London Iranian Film Festival (UKIFF), UK, 26 October – 3 November 2018
  • Special Jury Award, 2nd Health Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, August 2017
  • Special Jury Award, 6th International Urban Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, August  2017


  • 3rd week of the film Horizons of Iran, Rome, Italy, 12-18 December 2021
  • 5th International Women's Film Festival, Rome (Cinema d'idea), Italy, 5-11 October 2021
  • 1st Festival of Urban Media, Atlanta, USA, 8 March- 22 April 2021
  • Venerafilms’s Iranian Women’s Film Festival, 8-21 March 2021
  • 1st Pendar International Film Festival, Virginia, USA, 18 March-17 April 2021
  • 2nd Oriental Women Film Festival, Koblenz, Germany, 17-21 October 2019
  • 9th London Iranian Film Festival (UKIFF), UK, 26 October - 3 November 2018
  • 5th Iranian Film Festival Cologne, Germany, 17–21 May 2018
  • 21st Flying Broom Women Film Festival, Ankara, Turkey 10–17 May 2018
  • 15th Image Of The Year Festival, Tehran, Iran, 20 February – 12 March 2018
  • 2nd Termeh Iranian Art & Culture Festival, Munich, Germany, 28 February – 5 March 2018
  • The Docs For Sale sector of the 30th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Netherlands, 15–26 November 2017
  • Panorama section of 4th Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary, Turkey, 11–15 October 2017
  • 2nd Ekotopfilm International Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 6–12 October 2017
  • 2nd Slemani International Film Festival, Slemani, Iraq, October 2017
  • 6th Iran International Green Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 9–15 September 2017
  • 2nd Health Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 17–23 August 2017
  • 6th International Urban Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 1–5 August 2017
  • 1st international Festival, Made in Iran, 4–7 January 2017

Special Screening

  • 59th Pelan Media Organization program, Vancouver, Canada, 25 Noveber 2023
  • GilBanoo Charitable Institution, Rasht, Iran, 11 and 12 March, 2022
  • ADR TV., Italy, October 2019
  • LinkTV., USA, July 2019
  • koln-Natanz Association, koln, Germany, 15 May 2019
  • Review Conference of "Karestan Documentary Film Series", SOAS University, London, UK. 30 April 2019
  • The 51th DocuNight Program, The USA, Canada, October 2018
  • Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, Sweden, September 2018
  • Technical Department of Tehran University, Tehran, Iran, 26 September 2018
  • 9th United Kingdom Iranian Film Festival (UKIFF), London, Great Britain, 26 October – 3 November 2018
  • Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran, 14 May 2018
  • Persian Cultural Center, San Diego, USA, 29 April 2018
  • Managers Home, Industrial Management Institute, Tehran, Iran, 17 October 2017
  • Karestan Documentary Week, Economics College of Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran, 7-12 October 2017
  • 10th International Documentary Film Festival , Cinema Verite, (Special Section of KARESTAN) Tehran, Iran, 4 -11 December 2016

Director's Note

There is nothing impossible for Hayedeh Shirzadi. She will find a way to accomplish what she has set out to do even in the most difficult situations. Her goal to save the planet has given her life meaning. She returns all the waste material, pollution and contamination we produce back to the Earth or turns it into something valuable to the life-cycle. When condemning what we are doing to the environment and how we are polluting the air and the water, she shouts at the top of her lungs: “We’ve only got one earth and we’re not kind to it. The earth doesn’t need us - it’s we who need the soil, water and air.”