At twenty, Sheyda Porrouya’s life is almost over. Born in Iran on the day staunchly orthodox mullas declare the birth of the Islamic Republic, she is witness to their purging of the country of all things Western and un-Islamic. To make matters worse, as she matures, Sheyda seems increasingly unable to distinguish between fairy tale and reality. Her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Throughout the film we learn that Sheyda is not always in tune with reality, and can create whole scenarios from her incredibly vivid imagination, not without tragic consequences, but by the end we come to see that in many ways she sees clearly, much more so than many of the people around her.
Accused of killing her mother, Sheyda is sentenced to death by hanging. As she awaits either release or execution, the narrative jumps back and forth from Sheyda’s childhood to life in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons.
“Through the Sad Wood Our Corpses Will Hang” is a beautiful, unpredictable story of frustrated humanity. Narrated in the first person by imprisoned Sheyda, we see Iranian society as she does – in all its complexities and from the viewpoint of an eternal outsider.”