Inspired by the tragic death of “Sahar Khodayari”, also known as “Blue Girl”, in Iran.

The Recess

A Navid Nikkhah Azad Film

Poster of a short film
Poster of a short film

She had only one “destination”, but even “destiny” could not stop her.

Sahar Khodayari (c. 1990 – 9 September 2019), also known as “Blue Girl”, was an Iranian woman known for setting herself on fire in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran on 2 September 2019.

Importantly, she was protesting a possible sentence of six months in prison for having tried to enter a public stadium in order to watch a football game, following the national ban against women at such events.

As a result, she died a week later of her injuries.

Above all, Khodayari’s self-immolation has generated much debate in Iran about the government’s restrictions on women.


zang -e tafrih


Mojan Kordi (as Sahar)

Reyhaneh Nabiyan, Niloofar Shokouhinia

Written by

Pouya Nabbi

Director of Photography

Behrouz Badrouj

Film Editor

Vahid Nikkhah Azad

Music by

Mikhail Shmatenko

Art Director

Mona Ramezani

Makeup Designer

Sara Bolboli

Sound Recordist

Ehsan Namdari

Sound Editing & Mixing by

Saman Shahamat

Production Manager

Keyvan Moradabadi


Navid Nikkhah Azad

Short, 12 mins., 2020
World Sales Agent

Poster of The Recess inspired by the tragic death of Sahar Khodayari

Every year hundreds of young girls, by wearing beard and makeup, try to enter Iran’s football stadiums with difficulty. As a result, a number of them are arrested by the national security force and are sentenced to harsh and severe punishments.

Sahar Khodayari, also known as Blue Girl, is one of these hundred girls who was arrested for watching her favorite team’s match in 2019. Following her arrest, she committed self-immolation in front of the Islamic revolutionary court in protest at her sentence.

As a result of her injuries, she died a week later.

This film is an adaptation of Sahar Khodayari’s final days.

The Recess l Poster Credits