Be Like Others

Be Like Others

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country with strict social mores and traditional values, gender-affirming operation is legal. Over twenty years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) making gender transition permissible for “diagnosed transgenders.” Yet same-gender sexual orientation is still punishable by death. Highly feminine and attracted to members of the same sex, yet forced to live in secret for fear of retribution, a generation of young Iranian men are adopting an identity legally allowed to them– transgender. In pursuit of what one man calls simply, “a decent life,” they flock to the country’s best-established gender-affirming surgeon, Dr. Bahram Mir Jalali, and are counseled by 24-year-old Vida, a post-op woman who claims to be “reborn” but warns of dangers that still await. Be Like Others is a fascinating look at those on the fringes of Iranian life – those looking for acceptance through the most radical of means.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Tanaz Eshaghian
Script: Tanaz Eshaghian
Cinematography: Amir Ηosseini
Editing: Jay Freund
Sound: Bill Lacey
Music: Ηenning Lohrner
Production: Forties B, Necessary Illusions Productions
Producers: Tanaz Eshaghian, Christoph Jörg
Co-production: ITVS International, BBC
Co-producers: Alexandra Kerry, Andrew Orr, Paul Rozenberg, Peter Wintonick, Ilan Ziv
Executive producer: Richard Shaw, Sally Jo Fifer
Format: HD
Color: Color
Production Country: Canada, USA, UΚ, Iran
Production Year: 2008
Duration: 74'
Contact: PBS Distribution
Awards/Distinctions: Special Jury Prize – Berlin IFF 2008, FIPRESCI Award – Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival 2008

Tanaz Eshaghian


2001 Ι Call Myself Persian (short, co-direction)
2006 Love Iranian-American Style
2008 Be Like Others
2011 Love Crimes of Kabul
2018 The Last Refugees (short)
2022 As Far As They Can Run (short)