Touran Mirhadi -- the preeminent architect of the childhood institution in Iran -- strives to follow through with her vision of "Peace needs to be cultivated at childhood" in the last four years of her life.
Touran Mirhadi (Khomarloo) is the founder of Farhad School, the Children's Book Council, and the Encyclopedia for Young People. She was also actively involved with close to 20 other institutions dealing with child development and education, and supported the formation of dozens of others. She is known as the preeminent architect of childhood institution and the mother of modern education in Iran.
This film follows the efforts and preoccupations of Ms. Touran Mirhadi in the last four years of her life. It shows how she strove to enrich the field of child education in Iran to the age of 89, always maintaining that peace was to be cultivated at childhood.
Researched & Directed by Rakhshan Banietemad and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb / Editor Shirin Barghnavard / Cinematographers Majid Gorjian, Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb / Composer Peyman Yazdanian / Sound Designer Amir Hosein Ghassemi / Sound Recordists Yadollah Najafi, Nezam Kiaie, Mazyar Sheykh Mahboby, Hassan Shabankareh / Art Advisor Amir Esbati / Color Grading Hamidreza Fatourehchian, Sindokht Rahimian / Still Photographers Reza Moattarina, Abbas Kowsari, Amir Hosein Sanaei, Ava Kiaei, Somayeh Jafari / Director`s Assistants Mohammad Zamani, Amir Hosein Sanaei, Abed Nicpoo, Rahi Rabani / Graphic Designer Mohammad Zamani / English translator Sohrab Mahdavi
With presence by: Touran Mirhadi, Yahya Mafi, Iran Gorgin, Noushafarin Ansari, Pirooz Vakili, Pendar Khomarloo, Delavar Khomarloo, Alireza Mirfakhraei, Sara Mirfakhraei, Sepehr Mirfakhraei
Producer: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
A Product of KARA Film Studio
Touran Khomarloo (nee Mirhadi)
Birth: 17 June 1927
Dear: 8 November 2016
Touran Mirhadi was born to a German mother and an Iranian father in Tehran. When, in 1945, and with the start of Iran’s illiteracy campaign, pioneering educators were inviting a younger generation to help with the effort, Touran Mirhadi was at the forefront. She picked up the ABCs of child education and picked out how the educational system came about. She went to France in 1946 and studied Educational Psychology at Sorbonne and Early Childhood Education at College Sevigne. The fruit of her studies was a new way of looking at child education.
Upon returning to Iran, she founded Farhad School (1955-1980), an independent kindergarten and, later, middle school named after her late brother. Farhad was a progressive institution that nurtured many outstanding students. At a time when it was almost impossible to go against the main current of the educational system, Mirhadi broke with schooling based on competition and encouraged teachers to see growth as the ability of each student to develop according to her or his talents and needs. At Farhad, the library played a central role and the relationship between teacher and student formed around books that fostered scientific precision and thinking.
In 1962, along with some of her colleagues, she founded the Children’s Book Council (CBC) with the aim of supporting the production and publication of quality books for children and young adults. CBC is an independent, non-profit, research-based cultural institution whose members are mostly women and volunteers. The Council has 1000 members today and covers its expenses through membership subscriptions, public support, commissions, and proceeds from the sales of its publications.
Chief among these publications is the Encyclopedia for Young People, a monumental reference book for children and young adults. It is the first pictorial encyclopedia for the 10-16 age range group. Work on the Encyclopedia started in 1980 and has continued with the contributions of over 250 scholars, working voluntarily. The Encyclopedia has now XVII volumes.
“Peace is to be learned-lived at childhood,” maintained Touran Mirhadi and she lived this wisdom in her 89 years. She has many books and articles to her name. In addition to CBC, she has been directly involved with the establishment of 20 institutions and has supported a dozen others for children. No wonder, then, she is known as the godmother of progressive education in Iran.
- Touran Khanom
- 91 min., English & French Subtitle, HD, Color, Iran, 2018
- 16:9 or 1:1.85
- DCP / Blu-Ray / DVD / H.264 File
- 9th Prague Iranian Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 15-25 January 2020
- Oriental Women Film Festival, Koblenz, Germany, 17-21 October 2019
- Nardebane Aseman Library, Kashmar, Iran, 27 November 2019
- Farshfilm Cinematheque, Tehran, Iran, 13 October 2019
- Ghadir Charity Society, Karaj, Iran, 31 May, 2019
- University of Ottawa, Canada, 8 March 2019
- Boston University of Art and Science, USA, 15 December 2018
- 48th Roshd International Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 21 November 2018
- University of Science and Culture, Tehran, Iran, 5 November 2018
- Engineering department of Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran, 9 October 2018
- 31th International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Isfahan, Iran, 30 August - 5 September 2018
Touran Khanom in Her Absence
In 2012, accompanying Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, I had the opportunity to meet Touran Mirhadi in the final years of her rich life for Touran Khanom.
The thoughts and teachings of Ms. Mirhadi in modern pedagogy have inspired many in child education. Over the years that we followed her for Touran Khanom, I found her presence defining, so much so that a feeling of regret would overtake me. I knew that I would've been a better human being, a better mother, had I been her student.
Her equanimity and broad-mindedness is paragon to any parenthood.
This chance meeting came late, but I learned plenty being in her presence and, following her, who was always thankful of every moment, I am grateful of the opportunity. What we see in Touran Khanom is only a cup from the ocean of her character. But it is her for all to imbibe.
“Our Obstacles Are Our Assets.” This brilliant short saying by Homayoun Sanatizadeh in Lady of The Roses continues to be my guiding light.
I realize that I am a documentary filmmaker with much asset! And I continue to rely on what I don't have:
- A production budget that nevertheless didn't keep us from following Touran Khanom for 4 years.
- A welcoming National Television apparatus, which shut it doors to Karestan documentary film Series and is out of tune with the nation and its great people.
- Public screening opportunities of which we have the impoverished Art and Experience Cinematic Group of cinemas.
What we do have, on the other hand, is Touran Khanom, which should be enough…
Should you know her, Touran Mirhadi is asset par excellence.
We offer our asset to you. Touran Khanom is here for you to behold, to hold the love of children as you hold you child in your arms.