Secret Ballot

  • 105'
  • Iran
  • 2001
A remote army base on an island in the Persian Gulf, comprising just one tent, a bunk bed and two soldiers, is surprised by a visit one morning. It is election day and the government has sent an official to make sure that as many island inhabitants as possible will vote. To the dissatisfaction of the soldier on duty (his mate is fast asleep in the bunk) the official turns out to be a woman and he has to accompany her on her quest for voters. That is not easy in the desolate desert landscape which only seems to be inhabited by illiterate shepherds and smugglers shy of officialdom. The election official is however undaunted, idealist and very determined and the ballot box clamped in her arms she goes everywhere. But from time to time even this intrepid urban woman is at a loss for words. For instance, what do you say to a girl aged 12 who is apparently old enough to get married, but not old enough to vote? To a man who only wants to vote for God? Or to a group of people who find out that their candidate has not even been put on the list?In an affectionate and lightheartedly absurd way Secret Ballot does not just look at the shortcomings of election processes and the position of women in Iran, but there is even room for love among (and on) the ballot papers.
Babak Payami
Countries of production
Iran, Italy
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2002
International title
Raye makhfi
Fabrica, Payam Films
Celluloid Dreams
Babak Payami