Poets of Life

Together We Stand Not Defeated

Director: Shirin Barghnavard

Documentary | 73 Mins


A poetic portrayal of the life of Shirin Parsi - rice farmer, environmentalist, and social activist.


Shirin Parsi is a rice farmer, but not an ordinary one. After receiving a BA in French literature from the University of Paris, she returned to Iran and decided not to live in the megapolis capital, Tehran. Her husband had inherited land in Shanderman, a village near the Caspian Sea, so they moved there and took up rice farming.

The Parsi family - including their two sons, who have stayed to farm with their parents - has instituted innovations in rice production. They promote sustainable farming and refrain from using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In a region where more and more farmers are selling their farms at very cheap prices to developers, the Parsis produce 100% organic rice.

Shirin and her family have chosen an exemplary lifestyle which is rich in indigenous values. In addition to rice farming, she spends time as a social activist and volunteers with several local NGOs. She is especially active in women’s groups where she focuses on raising awareness.

This film follows Shirin preparing the rice paddies until the rice harvest, as well as showing her social activities, as she attempts to bring about social and environmental change.

Film Trailer


Writer, Director & Editor: Shirin Barghnavard / Cinematographer: Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah / Composer: Peyman Yazdanian / Sound Designer: Amir Hosein Ghassemi / Sound Recordists: Vahid Razavian, Meysam Hasanloo, Hassan Shabankareh / Unit 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 / Researchers: Shirin Barghnavard, Z. Emrani

With presence by: Shirin Parsi and Mohammad Reza Marzban, Soroush Marzban, Ahmad Marzban, Brigitte Colette

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

  • Shaerane Zendegi
  • 73 min., English Subtitle, HD, Color, Iran, 2017
  • Persian, French, Taleshi
  • 16:9 or 1:1.85
  • Stereo
  • DCP / Blu-Ray / DVD / H.264 File


  • "Best Documentary" from 8th London Iranian Film Festival, United Kingdom, November 2017
  • "Honorable Mention" from 16th Innsbruck Nature Film Festival, Austria, October 2017
  • "National Prize" from 6th International Green Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, September 2017
  • Special Jury Award, 14th Green Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea, May 2017


  • 3rd week of the film Horizons of Iran, Rome, Italy, 12-18 December 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
  • 6th Iranian Film Festival, Paris, France, 6-12 Jun 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
  • 20th annual One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 5–14 March 2018
  • 14th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, New Delhi, India, 5–7 March 2018
  • 7th Iranian Film Festival Edinburg, Scotland, 17 February –1 March 2018
  • 7th Iranian Film Festival Prague, Czech Republic, 9–14 January 2018
  • 10th This Human World Film Festival, 360 Section, Vienna, Austria, 30 Nov –10 Dec 2017
  • The Docs For Sale sector of the 30th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Netherlands, 15–26 November 2017
  • 8th  London Iranian Film Festival, London, UK, 27 October – 1 November 2017
  • 1st  International Film Festival of Women, Koblenz, Germany from 27–31 October 2017
  • Panorama section of 4th  Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary, Turkey, 11–15 October 2017
  • 16th Innsbruck Nature Film Festival, Austria, 10–13 October 2017
  • lecture series JENE TAGE/THOSE DAYS in Vienna, Austria,  5–7 October 2017
  • 6th Iran International Green Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 9-15 September 2017
  • 14th Green Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea, 18-24 May 2017
  • 35th Fajr International Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 21–28 April 2017

Special Screening

  • 58th Pelan Media Organization program, Vancouver, Canada, 28 October 2023
  • UCLA University, Los Angeles, USA, 19 May 2019
  • Sina Cultural Complex, Montreal, Canada,14 March 2019
  • Birjand's "Payaam-e-Noor" University, Birjand, South Khorasan Province, 3 February 2019
  • Sepehr Cultural Foundation, Ghaen, South Khorasan Province, 2 February 2019
  • Review Conference of "Karestan Documentary film Series", SOAS University, London, UK, 24 November 2018
  • 50th DocuNight Program, USA, Canada, October 2018
  • Persian Cultural Center, San Diego, USA, 29 April 2018
  • Celebration of Women’s Day, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran, 5 March 2018
  • Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Potsdam, Germany, 13 December 2017
  • Karestan Documentary Week, Economics College of Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran, 7–12 October 2017
  • Iran Newspaper, Tehran, 1 July 2017
  • 10th International Documentary Film Festival, Cinema Verite, (Special Section of KARESTAN) Tehran, Iran, 4–11 December 2016

Director's Note

Shirin Parsi is hard-working and resolute. Her dedicated spirit makes her passionate about life in all of its aspects. She appreciates life, and strongly believes that human beings can play a positive role in the universe. That is why she has chosen such a distinct lifestyle for herself; a lifestyle that has made her a fascinating and influential character. Now, during an era when societal and economic uncertainty has led to widespread dissatisfaction and despair, she revives lost hope in humanity by looking at life from an insightful and unique point of view.