Karyn L. Barr
August 13, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In 1979, a bright-eyed Jewish girl looked out the window of her new home in Tehran and saw the words ”Jews get lost!” graffitied on the wall across the way. Five years later, in the midst of the Islamic revolution, Hakakian and her family did indeed ”get lost” — moving to America. Now the ”60 Minutes” producer-turned-documentary filmmaker liberates her past by poignantly and delicately recounting the harrowing moments of a childhood burdened by religious persecution, censorship, and political strife. (In particular, the final, gut-wrenching ”It’s time we leave for America” scene illustrates the author’s graceful, poetic style.) Roya Hakakian successfully blends an adult’s ripened awareness with a child’s naive optimism to make this Journey From The Land Of No well worth taking.

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