Being a fly-on-the-wall of Shanty’s daily life gives us an intimate look at the soul of an entire generation of young Iranians.
Shanty is an Isfahaner, born and bred. His hometown is “the most charismatic city in Iran” as he passionately declares. And he has big plans for his future here. Marriage is a serious responsibility and Shanty knows that both his and his wife’s families expect a lot of him. The young couple wants to have children, but they have to get their finances in order first. The coffee shop, which Shanty had opened more or less as a hobby, has become an important economic factor. In the cozy little espresso bar on the city’s famous Imam Square Shanty’s barista conjures up the best créma in Isfahan while Pink Floyd, The Grateful Death and Led Zeppelin boom from the loudspeakers; nothing new in Berlin or Paris but almost revolutionary here. As a young Iranian he belongs to a clear majority in Iranian society – half the country’s population is under 37. As a carpet trader, he feels the ancient blood of the Iranian bazaaris flowing through his veins. As the owner-operator of a modern coffee shop he’s driven by a youthful eagerness to experiment and passion for the new; as a husband his engine runs on love and an awareness of household obligations and family expectations. Shanty and his wife are two of an entire generation of young Iranians who feel just as committed to upholding traditional values as to realizing their own individual vision of happiness.