Elevate Difference

Love Iranian-American Style

Finding love is never easy. But having to deal with what your family expects, especially when it contradicts the current society that you are a part of, makes it that much harder. Tanaz is an Iranian-American woman, who has pursued an education and is now a filmmaker. However, she is 26 years old and unmarried, which is unacceptable in her family’s eyes. From their point of view, she must marry a successful Iranian Jewish man, who expects her to be a virgin and be an automatic wife and mother.

Tanaz, on the other hand, wants none of that and is searching for love (her family believes in making matches, not love). Nevertheless, after hearing this from her family for so many years, she puts pressure of her relationships with American men for them to lead to marriage, which is something many men are not ready for or don’t want to hear about at that age. Over a few years, Tanaz documents trying to find love, both with her ideals and her family’s ideals.

Tanaz focuses a good portion of her film on her mother, who allowed Tanaz to pursue an education instead of marrying her off when she was younger. Throughout her filming, she discovers things about her mother: that she believes Tanaz should have married younger, and that it is important for her to marry a proper Iranian man. After having dating difficulties, she decides to go out on the arranged dates her mother and other members of her family make for her. However, she finds that is not what she wants with her life, even though it is a disappointment. By the end of the film, her mother agrees that is never too late for Tanaz to marry, which is a 180 degree turn from earlier, when Tanaz was told she was getting too old for men to find her attractive.

Love Iranian-American Style provides a powerful insight to how family and culture influence how we live our lives and interact in our relationships. Throughout the documentary, you root for Tanaz, that she finds what she needs without having to give up part of herself. In addition, if you have ever had problems finding a lasting relationship, you can relate to her in her journey.

Written by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch, December 20th 2007