Scent of Geranium
Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
When you move a plant from one place to another, you need to give it some time. A young woman new to the United States from Iran remembers her mother’s words as she illustrates the often isolating challenges of adjusting to her new world — and others’ perceptions of her differentness.
About the FIlmmaker
Naghmeh Farzaneh is an Iranian animator and filmmaker who entered the animation world after getting her bachelor’s degree in Painting. In 2011 she immigrated to the United States to continue filmmaking while pursuing her MFA in Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology. Naghmeh’s films have been officially selected in many international festivals and have won numerous won awards. She is currently a lecturer at DePaul University in Chicago.
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- Do you remember a time when you started to flourish like a geranium in bloom after a long period of hibernation? What sparked the transformation?
- Do you think your roots are strong and stable in your current situation to support a productive life? What else do you need to make your life richer and more colorful?
- The immigrant experience expressed in the film is a common one, with challenges around language, mastering local culture and customs, feeling like an outsider, and even having to be a representative of your country to those who are unfamiliar with it. Are there situations where you feel like an outsider? Does this film make you more sympathetic to immigrants navigating their way in the US?
- The artist creatively captured the essence of her home city of Tehran, by selecting three elements of the city, and then drew each element individually and then layered these elements together: Mountain backdrop, the skyline of buildings in the middle, and the roads/subways/commuter traffic in the foreground. Select three elements of your hometown or current location, draw each element individually and then cut them out so you can play around with layering or stacking the elements. (If possible, walk around your neighborhood or city so you can experience these elements with your eyes and ears before you sketch them.) Is there a hierarchy of the elements that you have represented or are they completely intertwined? How do you connect to each of these elements?
- Capture the colors of your memories. Are there events or places from your past that bring to mind a specific color? Play with color and explore your memories. Use whatever materials you have on hand—crayons, colored pencils, craypas, markers, watercolor paints, or a combination of them all—and fill the full-size paper with the color. Don’t worry about shapes; just fill in the paper as evenly as possible. Are you able to recreate the shade in mind? After coloring in several pieces of paper, can you come up with one word to describe what the color represents for you?
- Write a flash poem inspired by the content of “The Scent of Geraniums.” Take 60 seconds and write down words that come to mind after viewing the filmmaking sure to capture concrete words of objects and colors that you saw in the film in addition to more abstract words that the film evokes. Review the list and circle the words that resonate with you and begin to weave the words together (along with other words if needed) to create a film synopsis like no other.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
Your Support Helps!
We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.