Imagine being separated from your partner against your wishes. Then imagine that separation lasting decades. That’s what happened to Alex, an American Peace Corps volunteer, and Ali, an Iranian Muslim—35 years ago.The two men met in 1967 and soon became soulmates. But by the late ’70s, the political climate in Iran, where the two men were living, became unstable and Alex, Leopold’s uncle, had to return to the U.S. But thanks to filmmaker Malachi Leopold, Alex and Ali have been reunited for the first time since 1977 in Leopold’s bold documentary, I am the Water, You are the Sea, which successfully secured funding last fall through Kickstarter.
“While he was there, he met and fell in love with Ali, an Iranian Muslim man. They kept their relationship secret, but were forced to separate when my uncle had to leave the country prior to the revolution,” Lepold recounted to the Chicago Tribune. Despite the obvious obstacles, the men have remained in contact, talking on the phone several times a week.
Leopold was so inspired by Alex that he starting looking for financing—not only to document the heartbreaking story but to reunite the two lovers in Istanbul. Happily, Alex and Ali were reunited on May 7, 2012. Lepold’s completed film would show their reunion and the ensuing results.
We don’t usually promote works needing financing—only because there are too many for us to name—but Leopold’s project is truly incredible. And it’s still in need of further grants to complete and possibly be adapted into a feature film. So if you like what’s in the video above, consider making a donation.
Photo: Malachi Leopold