'The Persian Version' Explores the Skateboarding Subculture in Iran

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Sep 11, 2014
References: vimeo & mic
When you think 'Iran', skateboarding is not one of the first things that comes to mind; however the documentary 'The Persian Version' -- part of the Visualtraveling film series -- brings to life the small but thriving skateboarding subculture in the conservative country. While Iranian authorities like to clamp down on any kind of Western influence, they have been comparatively lenient when it comes to skateboarding, even establishing state-funded skate parks.

This 30-minute short film was filmed by German videographer Patrik Wallner and his crew, who sought to explore a side of Iran not addressed in stereotypical depictions of the country in the Western media. Rather than taking the cliched and borderline offensive approach of patronizing and praising the Iranian subjects for being "just like us", the film instead focuses on the unique passion and determination of Iranian skaters.

The Persian Version comprises gorgeous footage of skaters doing their thing in the streets of Tehran, navigating through busy streets, back alleys, parks and public locations including the famous Azadi Square.