Justine Poustchi is a writer, director, and film editor based in both New York and Ottawa, Canada. A published fiction author as well she got into New York University’s Tisch school (one of the country’s most revered art schools) on the strength of her writing credentials and completed the Film and Television Production program.
Her last film, “The Wind,” is a rumination on loss and homeland as seen through the eyes of an Iranian in New York City. In this and her new film, “Mother Tongue,” Poustchi draws on her multicultural heritage (Persian, Sri Lankan, and Irish) to highlight the challenges of the human experience.
In “Mother Tongue,” Sara (played by Layla Khoshnoudi) is a zen-like introvert living with her single father in a cramped Tehran apartment. She wakes up the morning after a heated argument to discover he’s passed away in his sleep.
As Sara buries her father she finds that she cannot get away from the incessant demands that she be a good daughter, even in the aftermath of his death. “Mother Tongue” tells the story of womanhood in all its complexities, the demands, the fragilities, the joys and the pressures of the post-feminist era.
New York University’s film school is one of the world’s finest purveyors of new filmmakers: Joel Coen, Charlie Kaufman and Martin Scorsese are all alumni, so it should reasonably follow that Justine Poustchi, who recently ran a successful crowd-funding campaign to finance “Mother Tongue,” will eventually find her way to the Oscars table. That’s the bullish five-year forecast, at least (a request sent to the filmmaker for comment went unanswered) – Ali Naderzad