Nasseredin Shah and his 84 Wives (58 min)

In 1842 the 11 year-old heir to the Persian throne received a camera from Queen Victoria of England. In the following decades he documented his life, revealing to the public eye what it was never supposed to see.


"Nasseredin Shah and his 84 Wives” is based on the photos taken by the Shah himself as well as by his court. With the addition of several animated sequences, it tells the story of the rivalry and intrigues within the harem, the murders, the corruption, the political power struggle, and of Iran’s troubled relation to Europe.


The film is an investigation into how things became as they are in Iran, but from a historic perspective that is all too often overlooked: that is, the influential role played by women in the origins of modern Iran.

The film has been screened at BBC Persian and Histoire, as well as in various film festivals in the US, Canada, Italy, Zimbabwe, India, Sweden and Norway.

It was awarded as Best Documentary at Bridge Fest in Vancouver, Canada, Best Feature Documentary at New York City International Film Festival, Best Documentary Director at Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles, and Best Feature Documentary and Best Foreign Film at Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival.

It was also awarded as the Best Art Work at Høstutstillingen, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway in September 2012.

Produced, written and directed by: Beate Petersen

Animation: Raiavin Studio

Voice over: Kate Pendry

Music: Milad Movahedi


Length: 58 min

Format: DV CAM/Beta SP/Digibeta

Sound: Stereo

Original language: English

World Sales:

Illumina Films

Leidsestraat 106 IV

1017PG Amsterdam

The Netherlands



Supported by: Fritt Ord Foundation, Arts Council Norway and Fond for Lyd og Bilde