Filmmaker Sierra Urich grew up in rural Vermont, a place and an upbringing far removed from Iran, the homeland of her mother, Mitra, and grandmother, Behjat. Only knowing Iran through family stories, food, and holidays, and with the prospect of travel to the country a seemingly impossible dream, she embarks on a personal quest to make sense of her fractured Iranian identity. Navigating barriers of language and culture (not to mention the complications of geopolitical conflict and displacement), Sierra turns to Mitra and Behjat to construct a deeply moving and sometimes disarmingly funny portrait of three generations of women and their complex relationship to an Iran of the past.
Named for a Farsi term of endearment, Joonam is infused with humor and heart like only a film about family could be. Interrogating family history and memory, including her grandmother’s experiences as a preteen bride and her mother’s rebellious teenage years during the Iranian Revolution, Sierra Urich constructs a rich, personal film that poignantly reflects the experiences of the Iranian diasporic community and speaks to anyone affected by the dislocation that accompanies immigration.
A heartfelt exploration of those living within a diaspora, the fractured connection each generation has to their own culture, and the irrevocable bond of shared roots.” ~ RogerEbert.com