Iranian cinema: "A Tale from Shemroon"
King of the night
Many reports on Iran focus on Tehran's middle classes, giving a rather one-sided impression of the country. New film release "A Tale from Shemroon" is also set in this milieu. So does it succeed in presenting a more multi-faceted picture? Lisa Neal watched the film for Qantara.de
Iranian women filmmakers fight oppression
Well-educated and politically aware, they are the epitome of the empowered woman. Instead, Iranian women filmmakers have been fighting violence and oppression for decades. By Julia Hitz
Iranian film "Holy Spider"
Killing women in the name of Allah
Ali Abbasi’s film "Holy Spider" tells the true story of a serial killer in the Iranian pilgrimage city of Mashhad. The fact that it gets bogged down at the end does not make it any less interesting. By Andreas Kilb
Iranian film director Jafar Panahi released following hunger strike
World-famous Iranian film director Jafar Panahi has been released from Tehran's notorious Evin prison after a hunger strike. By Stuart Braun
Iran protests 2022
Female film stars show solidarity
In Iran, two famous actresses, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, were arrested recently. These days anyone who shows solidarity with the protesters is a target to be silenced. By Kevin Tschierse
"Velayatnameh" and the Islamic Revolution
Low-budget sci-fi film shatters Iran’s sacred red lines
A sci-fi film lampooning the Islamic Republic and all that its regime holds sacred premiered quietly at a nondescript venue in Los Angeles in July. The title, “Velayatnameh”, is a spoof on Ferdowsi's “Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings”
#MeToo revelations rock Iranian film industry
More than 800 Iranian filmmakers have signed a declaration against sexual harassment, coercion and violence in their industry. The public's response to their willingness to name and shame has been overwhelming. By Nasrin Bassiri
Prostitution in the Shah's Iran
Shahr-e No – "the neighbourhood of the sorrowful"
Drawing on the history of Tehran's Shahr-e No red light district, Nasrin Bassiri describes how prostitution functioned in Iran before the Islamic Revolution. The neighbourhood would end up being destroyed in August 1980, six months after Khomeini came to power
Alireza Abiz' "Censorship of Literature in Post-Revolutionary Iran"
Iranian literature – the censor’s mindset
The Islamic Republic has a strict and often arbitrary system of censoring artistic and journalistic works. An in-depth investigation by writer Alireza Abiz uncovers the details and their impact on the book trade. By Gerrit Wustmann
The Persian poetry of mathematics
From Omar Khayyam to Mirzakhani – Iran’s beautiful minds
Presenting a more nuanced vision of their common homeland, Iran, to Western imaginations, kindred spirits Omar Khayyam and Maryam Mirzakhani stand out against the twenty-first century backdrop of anti-Iranian sentiment and Islamophobia. By Hamid Dabashi
Caught between tradition and modernity
Will ancient poet Hafez win the "soft war" in Iran?
Iran is far more modern than many people realise: our view is clouded by media distortion and the overriding political narrative. The nation’s historic and cultural riches are often overlooked. A declaration of love for Iran by Marian Brehmer
Interview with Iranian filmmaker Shahram Mokri
"We are lucky to be alive today"
In August 1978, four men set fire to the Cinema Rex in the Iranian city of Abadan, killing more than four hundred people inside. The event is said to have started the Iranian Revolution to overthrow the Shah's regime. Forty years later, "Careless Crime" by Iranian filmmaker Shahram Mokri depicts four men planning to burn down a cinema in a contemporary Iran where ghosts of the past haunt the current society. Interview by Schayan Riaz