If you only had a few hours left to live, what would you share with the love of your life? Together Aban + Khorshid explore this question during the hours before sentencing for their crime of loving each other.
You cannot help but be moved by this short film, given the stark fact that it's inspired by true events. And no more shocking than the public hanging of two young men in Iran in November 2005 for simply being in a same-sex relationship. And it's their overwhelming love for each other that writer and director Darwin Serink vividly captures, with Khorshid's mobile phone camera used as a means to document the playful beauty of their time together, romantic scenes that strikingly juxtapose with the grim reality of prison life thereafter, the two lovers speaking to each other through the confines of their cell walls in the moments before their execution.
The result makes for a work that is, as you would expect, both heartbreaking and powerful in equal measure, that of a deeply poignant portrait of a relationship brutally cut short; from the moment they first met watching fireworks, to talk of why their Creator created them that way, if it was against his will. Yet the story of how they fell in love with each other and that of their eventual imprisonment, is soon to give way to the inescapable conclusion and how in the 76 countries where homosexuality is illegal to this day, at least 5 of them carry the death penalty.
It's a sickening statistic that graphically illustrates the fact that on a global stage our fight for sexual freedom is still far from over. Yet and as the horrific mass shooting in Orlando proves, you do not have to go far to find a homophobic mindset intent on homicide and whilst the gay community rightly stands proud, remembering those whose lives have tragically been lost, such appalling atrocities are a graphic reminder of why the rights of free speech and sexual expression are an integral part of a civilized society and why no terrorist group or radicalized individual will ever take these fundamental human rights away from us. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those murdered in Orlando; as too, to those whose lives were touched by the real life Aban + Khorshid, namely Mokhtar N. and Ali A., and moreover to those brave men and women who in the all too many barbaric regimes of the world, literally risk their very life - for love.