2004

The Women's Roar From The Bottom Layer of Iranian Society

In the previous 15 years, Iranian films have been drawing more and more attention from the international movie world, work from important filmmakers such as Abbas Kiarostami and Majid Majidi. Emerging from this wave of Iranian films are quite a number of female directors such as Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Tahmineh Milani (Les Enfants du Divorce) Bachehna-ye Talaq, Pouran Derakhshandeh (Report), Parandeh-ye kouchak-e khosbakht (The Happy Pony), Zaman-e az Dast Rafteh (Lost Time) and Obour az Ghobar (Through the Storm Dust). The work of these female directors highlights the differences in their perspectives and concerns from those of their male counterparts, which is very rare in the Muslim world.
In films by female directors such as Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, this kind of cultural difference is relatively balanced by focusing on female images and voices. In the Rakhshan Bani-Etemad special feature, Nargess, Blue-Veiled, Under the Skin of the City and Our Times, which describe thoughts behind the veils, have been selected for showing during the festival.
Compared to her European and American counterparts, Bani-Etemad's four films are more precious as they offer an alternative Iranian film perspective different from those presented in contemporary European and American feminist work and by filmmakers. While America's HBO perspective different from those presented in contemporary European and American feminist work and by filmmakers. While America’s HBO provides the sitcom series Sex and the City and sells it to the world because of its strong cultural advantage, we have a delusion that the problem of sexual liberation does not exist and that when women enjoy sex it is as if the problem of orgasm doesn't matter compared to the other ones being discussed. But looking at women in the Islamic world, their difficulty in freeing themselves from the unrelieved burden of culture and religion that is beyond the imagination of Manhattan women wearing designer brands and advocating globalization.
As we watch these rare Iranian films, we must get rid of this narrow-mindedness and try to understand the difficulty of working on gender and cultural revolutions under the heavy weight of the veil.
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Our Times

Iran |2002|35mm|color|79min

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Nargess

Iran|1991|35mm|color|100min

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Under the skin of the city

Iran |2001|35mm|color|92min

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The Blue Veiled

Iran |1994|35mm|color|85min