Catalogue > At random

Niki Kohandel

The Sparrow Is Free

Doc. expérimental | hdv | couleur | 14:6 | France, Royaume-Uni | 2021

In an empty house, a young woman hears a voice. The tales it evokes lead her to recreate scenes from her grandmother’s past life. Through objects found at home, Kohandel's short interview-film explores gender roles in early 20th-century Iran. As a young girl, marriage to her older cousin leads to years of control and frustration. Rebelling against her husband, she eventually relocates to France with her sons, building a new life. As she voices her own story, the film weaves her experiences together into a broader narrative of self-determination. She carves out her independence in Paris and finds comfort in the everyday. A simple kind of happiness follows, the sparrow is free.

Niki Kohandel (b. 2000, Paris) is an artist and filmmaker, in her third year of undergraduate studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Niki films mothers and daughters, houses and flowers, and all sorts of things which, like relationships, can be nurtured, but also grow out of control. She uses obsolete recording devices and her imperfect knowledge of languages to document and tell stories, creating at the interplay between the analogue and the digital.