For Americans, the name Iran conjures certain key images the Shah, the Revolution of 1979, the hostages, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and black chador-clad women. Worn as part of the Islamic code of hijab, the chador became a kind of visual symbol of the religious fundamentalism that took hold of Iran after the revolution. Adanto's new documentary confronts and then strips away the clich's surrounding the chador through interviews with Iranian women artists. As in the fairy tale of the ugly duckling, a beautiful swan emerges from the darkness of this history in the body of work done by these courageous women artists.For each of these woman, the revolution of 1979 marks the turning point in their life and art. Some lived in Iran at the time and felt the chill hand of repression claim their careers and lives until their escape. Others lived overseas when the revolution struck and found their roots literally cut from under them. Some younger artists profiled didn't know or barely knew pre-revolutionary Iran and struggle to lay claim to a conflicted heritage. This variety of connections helps Adanto weave an intricate narrative of loss and remembrance.Pearls introduces women caught in a maelstrom of forces pulling on them: religious, sexual, political, and artistic. Their ability to keep themselves together and even to thrive under such conditions testifies to their power as individuals. This film inspires the viewer to reexamine what they thought they knew about Iran and the black swans hidden beneath the infamous chador.