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Our Summer in Tehran is recommended for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of a people and culture that are routinely demonized in Western media.

– EMRO, Educational Media Reviews

I loved this film. It is a fissure in the curtain that politics has draped between the United States and Iran. An excellent tool to use as an introduction to a little understood part of the world.

–Rae Viscovi, Dean of Academic Studies, Town School for Boys, San Francisco

This film should be widely shown in the United States and indeed around the world to help humanize a country that has so often been demonized. It shows how much we have in common with Iranians – their love of family, in particular, of children – without sugarcoating the difficulties that Iranians face. The Iran in this film is a sophisticated nation with a deep culture that existed long before the Islamic Republic and that will undoubtedly endure. Revealing this Iran through the eyes of a six-year-old American boy is both moving and effective. It should teach us all to see the world, as Mateo’s mom, filmmaker Justine Shapiro says, “in wonder rather than in fear.”

– Barbara Slavin, former Assistant Managing Editor at The Washington Times; author of Bitter Friends Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

The film’s potential for classrooms of all ages is limitless and it is exactly what teachers need to help students enter into a world they need to know more about it. Justine (and her son) become, for their viewers, role-models of effective citizen diplomacy — finding common ground, connecting to people through their daily lives, remaining open-minded, curious, and culturally aware. The documentary offers teachers many avenues through which they can address a variety of important issues, from the enduring legacy of the culture of Ancient Persia, to the after effects of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, to the lives of Muslim women in contemporary Iran.

– Joan Brodsky Schur, Educational Consultant, Author and Curriculum Developer for middle and high schools Social Studies Coordinator, New York City

Our Summer in Tehran offers the important perspective of what it means to build friendship even when states, ideologies, and attitudes work to prevent and impede it. Shapiro’s work is a model for thinking about new ways to open the conversation about Iran.

– Professor Persis Karim, Coordinator of San Jose State University’s Middle Eastern Studies Program and Iranian Studies Program and Editor, Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora

This film provided my students with a new understanding of and appreciation for Iranians. I don’t think any other class activity/reading has made such a lasting and profound impression on them.

–Genoa Shepley, instructor, Department of Writing and Rhetoric, University of Rhode Island

The broader understanding of Iran, that Our Summer in Tehran provides, is of great value for US students and the general public…the film contributes to greater cross-cultural communication with the broader Muslim world.

– Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech, Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution, Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Security, Harvard Kennedy School

Moving seamlessly between her experiences in Tehran with three different Iranian families, Shapiro reminds us that the personal is political. The result is a deeply affecting film that allows for an intimate glimpse behind the Iranian curtain.

– Jonathan B. Vogels, Author of The Direct Cinema of David and Albert Maysles and Principal of Upper school at Colorado Academy

These people who could not seem less like our enemy, might someday find themselves beneath our bombs. This is a film that Americans need to see sooner rather than later.

– Journalist Evan Hill, Al Jazeera

It is through the innocent yet open eyes of Mateo that we learn many of the lessons in this revelatory, incredibly useful documentary about life in middle class Iran.

– Betsey Coleman is English Department Chair at Colorado Academy, has been teaching for over 35 years, and has traveled throughout the Middle East.

VIDEO LIBRARIAN “recommends this eye opening look at Iranian middle-class life.”

Dailey life in Iran seems surprisingly normal in this poignant, respectful, and open-minded peek at a country and culture that is often misunderstood.


I ordered OUR SUMMER IN TEHRAN for our public library because this beautiful and important film offers a rare insight into everyday life in a country we know so little about. This film is a great addition to our collection, and fulfills our commitment to offering our library customers resources that open minds, pique curiosity and stimulate intellectual thought.

–Madeline Ripley, Spokane County Library District