By Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is likely one of the world's major gurus on Iranian movie, and A Social heritage of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. overlaying the overdue 19th century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, well known genres, and paintings movies, it explains Iran's ordinary cinematic construction modes, in addition to the function of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a latest nationwide identification in Iran. This entire social background unfolds throughout 4 volumes, each one of which are liked on its own.
The impressive efflorescence in Iranian movie, television, and the recent media because the consolidation of the Islamic Revolution animates quantity four. in this time, documentary movies proliferated. Many filmmakers took as their topic the revolution and the bloody eight-year conflict with Iraq; others critiqued postrevolution society. The powerful presence of girls on monitor and in the back of the digital camera ended in a dynamic women's cinema. A dissident art-house cinema—involving the very best Pahlavi-era new-wave administrators and a more youthful iteration of cutting edge postrevolution directors—placed Iranian cinema at the map of global cinemas, bringing status to Iranians at domestic and overseas. A fight over cinema, media, tradition, and, finally, the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic, emerged and intensified. The media turned a contested website of public international relations because the Islamic Republic regime in addition to international governments opposed to it sought to harness Iranian pop culture and media towards their very own ends, inside and out of doors of Iran. The large overseas movement of flicks made in Iran and its diaspora, the huge dispersion of media-savvy filmmakers in another country, and new filmmaking and communique applied sciences helped to globalize Iranian cinema.
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Extra resources for A Social History of Iranian Cinema: Volume 4 - The Globalizing Era
At the same time, documentaries, particularly social-problem films, underground films, and Internet films bent on exposing the underbelly of the Islamic Republic and on critiquing its treatment of women, homosexuals, ethnoreligious minorities, and dissidents countered the art cinema’s nonpolitical, aestheticized, and humanistic representations. 6 No doubt, this expansion into foreign markets will affect what documentaries will be made, as it did with fiction films, and it is likely to bring with it diverse charges of distorting Iranian reality, the peddling of exoticism to the first world, the washing of internal dirty laundry in full view of the international public, the undermining of the Islamist regime and aiding opposition, and the whitewashing of the Islamist regime’s crimes.
Like its predecessor, this cinema was supported by various governmental and paragovernmental agencies. That these agencies produced thirty-three of the thirty-five films in table 1 demonstrates the significant part that the state played in propagating the war culture and its official style in its early phase. The state played this part not only due to its control of military and coercive forces but also because of its control and funding of society’s signifying institutions, which were thus deeply committed to propagating Islamicate values and the official government ideology, instead of responding to authorial urges, generic and aesthetic considerations, market forces, industry exigencies, and specta torial reactions.
The international circulation of documentaries lagged behind that of fiction, but it grew in the 2000s. Most of the top Pahlavi-period documentaries gained fame not because they were shown widely but often precisely because they were not screened at all, or if so only at film festivals, university cine-clubs, and foreign governments’ cultural societies. Inaccessibility and censorship conferred value. Sometimes the restrictions were due to the film’s critical intelligence, but not always. In the period of the Islamic Republic, the problem of inaccessibility was addressed by more than doubling of Persian-language television channels, which in the 1980s showed many nonfiction programs about the social turmoil of revolution and the devastating war with Iraq.