Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution

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Movie Info

Documentarian Nader Takmil Homayoun delivers a plenary eulogy to Persian cinema - its fullest to date - with Iran: Une Révolution cinématographique. Over the course of 98 minutes, Homayoun follows the evolution and shifting stylistic currents of Iranian film over the course of 70+ years, as those changes parallel the country's mercurial political history. The picture thus features a dazzling array of clips from Iranian documentaries and feature films, intercut with interview footage that offers insights from the country's most esteemed directors and film historians, including Fereydoun Goleh, Bahman Ghobadi, Amir Naderi and Dariush Mehrjuï. Homayoun begins in 1933, with the country's first sound film, the mischievous and ironic parable Haji Agha, the Cinema Actor. He then moves forward in time, through the prevalence of escapism, the rise of social realism, the 1970s Iranian New Wave and a more recent poetic approach to cinema, typified by Saless's A Simple Event. Homayoun also reveals the political prescience of specific titles, such as Journey of the Stone, which predicted the 1979 Iranian revolution, and he sheds light on the irony that the government's somewhat tyrannical laws forbidding the importation of American cinema had a positive side effect: they forced Iran to develop an entire culture of indigenous filmmaking. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1)

  • Using a range of sources, Homayoun provides convincing evidence that Iran's success at international film festivals has been no accident

    Sep 19, 2008 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • It's amazing that Iranian film exists at all. But the country's film artists have not only endured, they have, over time, created a world-class cinema whose sensitive and often progressive aesthetic has been produced under duress.

    May 23, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • A rounded and robust overview of Iranian cinema and its shifting relationship to the political and religious tides in that country's history and culture.

    Jun 27, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Valuable for those who want to learn more about this unique corner of global cinema.

    May 22, 2007 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution

  • Jan 08, 2009
    [font=Century Gothic]"Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution" is a fascinating documentary about the history of Iranian filmmaking, starting with "The Cinema Actor" in 1933. Of special interest are the movies made during the reign of the Shah and the current Islamic Republic and how the directors have dealt with censorship under the two regimes. Strangely enough, the movie treats the current repression kinder(which is ironic considering movie houses were burned when they first came to power), as former government ministers are interviewed along with directors whose films are discussed and clips are shown from. There is also archival footage of the times and momentous events which acts as a background to the main narrative. The Shah wanted an image of Iran as prosperous whereas the Islamic Republic is much more interested in a religious view and especially wants children, nature, Persian poetry and traditional values on display which certainly explains "The Willow Tree." But women need not apply. At the same time, directors possibly influenced by neo-realist films have been interested in showing the Iran they know, especially Bahman Ghobadi who has taken a special interest in Kurdistan.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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