Persian Lessons (2020)


Persian Lessons (German: Persischstunden) is a 2020 Russian-Belarusian drama film directed by Vadim Perelman.

The film was partially inspired by the short story Erfindung einer Sprache by German writer Wolfgang Kohlhaase.


A Jewish man in a German concentration camp pretends he is from Iran and is then forced to teach Persian, a language he does not speak, to a Nazi.


  • Nahuel Pérez Biscayart as Gilles.
  • Lars Eidinger as Klaus Koch.
  • Jonas Nay as Max.
  • David Schütter as Paul.
  • Alexander Beyer as Camp Commandant.
  • Andreas Hofer as Adjutant von Dewitz.
  • Leonie Benesch as Elsa.
  • Giuseppe Schillaci as Marco Rossi.


The script of the film was first written in Russian, then translated into English and eventually into German. The fake version of Persian spoken in the film was invented by the director and a Russian linguist, developing a grammar and a 600-word dictionary.


Persian Lessons premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on 22 February 2020. In December 2020, Russia submitted the film to the 78th annual Golden Globes competition. The film was released in China on 19 March 2021.


  • It was selected as the Belarusian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.
    • However, the film was disqualified by the Academy, due to the majority of individuals involved in making the film not coming from Belarus.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Vadim Perelman.
  • Producer(s):
    • Rauf Atamalibekov … producer.
    • Timur Bekmambetov … producer.
    • Sol Bondy … co-producer.
    • Pavel Burya … producer.
    • Ilya Dzhincharadze … co-producer.
    • Murad Osmann … producer.
    • Vadim Perelman … producer.
    • Ilya Stewart … producer.
    • Anouk van Ghemen … consulting producer.
    • Jamila Wenske … co-producer.
    • Ilja Zofin … producer (as Ilya Tsofin).
  • Writer(s):
    • Ilja Zofin … (screenplay) (as Ilya Tsofin).
    • Wolfgang Kohlhaase … (novel).
  • Music:
    • Evgueni Galperine.
    • Sacha Galperine.
  • Cinematography:
    • Vladislav Opelyants.
  • Editor(s):
    • Vessela Martschewski.
  • Production:
    • Hype Film.
    • LM Media.
    • ONE TWO Films.
    • Belarusfilm.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Cohen Media Group (2020) (USA) (all media).
    • Alamode Film (2020) (Germany) (theatrical).
    • Frenetic Films (2020) (Switzerland) (theatrical).
    • Splendid Film (2021) (Netherlands) (theatrical).
    • Academy 2 (2020) (Italy) (all media).
    • Alamode Film (2021) (Germany) (Blu-ray).
    • Alamode Film (2021) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Avalon (2021) (Spain) (all media).
    • (2020) (Latvia) (all media).
    • (2020) (Lithuania) (all media).
    • Forefront Media Group (2020) (South Africa) (all media).
    • JinJin Pictures (2020) (South Korea) (all media).
    • KMBO Distribution (2020) (France) (all media).
    • Lev Cinemas (2020) (Israel) (all media).
    • MCF (2020) (Albania) (all media) (MCF also distributes for ex-Yugoslavia).
    • Signature Entertainment (2020) (UK) (all media).
  • Release Date: 22 February 2020 (Berlin International Film Festival).
  • Running Time: 127 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: Russia and Belarus.
  • Language: German, Persian, French, English, and Italian.

Video Link

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