MarginalRoad_PosterYassaman Ameri, Canada, 2012, 57 min, in English and Farsi with English Subtitles

“Marginal Road” is the name of the scenic route that runs along the Atlantic Ocean south of Lisbon. The Europe’s westernmost point. It’s also the first place where Yassaman Ameri, her husband and baby daughter were photographed after fleeing Iran on September 10, 1980.

Their journey to Portugal – the only place that, at the time, did not require visas from Iranians wishing to emigrate – took place one year after the Islamic Revolution, and a week before the start of the Iran-Iraq War. Today residents of Montreal, Ameri and her family have never returned to their country; each day, their understanding of the word “exile” grows deeper.

In Marginal Road, her first documentary, photographer/multimedia artist Ameri employs a range of formal and experimental techniques that include slow-motion footage, collages, overlays, archival photos, image fragments, shards of memory, a sweet and sonorous voiceover and inspired music.

But far from being chaotic or confused, her film is a rich, dynamic exploration of the concept of exile. Presented as short sequences by turns reflective, intimate and historical, Marginal Road is a stirring journey, sensitive and imaginative, melancholy and thoughtful, into a repressed yet ever-present pain.