ASIA 124: Iranian Post-1979 Cinema
Although Western films from Hollywood have dominated the world’s cinema screens for most of film history, films produced in many other regions of the world such as the Middle East have much to offer beyond Hollywood. In the United States, however, we have few chances to see many of these diverse films produced in the Middle East. In this course, we will examine the distinct characteristics of post-revolutionary Iranian cinema (post-1979), which has been a regular feature (and winner) at major film festivals around the globe. We will examine the many different ways the medium has been used to incorporate political and social perspectives, challenge the government, and document the lives and struggles of Iranian people. Among the many topics that we will explore are Iranian culture and society, the importance of family unit, gender politics, women’s social, economic and political roles, issues of ethnicity, attitudes about faith and religion, constructions of masculinity, role of children, ethics and morality, documentary vs. fiction, and various schools of realism in Iranian cinema. The films will be contextualized by readings as listed on the schedule below. The readings are in English and the films are all subtitled in English. LA, BN, E5.