One Thousand and One Teardrops (United Kingdom | 2014, 17 min)

Directed by: Fateme Ahmadi

On her first day of school, little Louly is faced with a question: what should she wear? The ugly school uniform or whatever she wants? Luckily, she is visited by a magic teardrop-keeper who helps her make a choice by telling the story of how the women of her nation, Iran, have strived to answer this question for 200 years.


“One Thousand and One Teardrops,” Iranian director Fateme Ahmadi’s stunning mixed media film, offers a fascinating and deeply touching look at the history of women’s dress codes in the Middle East. At times hilarious and sad, full of satire but never preachy, this film tells the story of Louly, a young Iranian girl trying to decide what to wear on her first day of school. Nervous about looking her best, Louly tries on dress after dress until her mom comes in to tell her that she won’t be given a choice; she’ll have to wear the school’s strict uniform. Upset an confused, Louly is visited by a magic tearcatcher (a traditional Persian glass bottle made for, well, catching tears) who in an effort to comfort her tells the story of the thousands of Persian women who were in her exact same position. Ms. Ahmadi does a sensational job of balancing vivid cut­out animation with archival black­ and­ white footage. Aided by a remarkable use of score and sound design, the film builds to its ultimate climax as Louly is faced with her own choice: will she adhere to the school’s dress code or will she choose to rebel?

“One Thousand and One Teardrops” is an Official Selection of the 7th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival.