Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cinema and Women in Iran

Next week, we are continuing our "Introduction to Iranian Cinema" at Hibbleton Gallery with films dealing with issues facing women in Iran, all made by Iranian filmmakers.   Each film will be introduced by series curator Steve Elkins, and a discussion will follow.

On Monday, August 18, we will watch three films about women in Iran:

Abbas Kiarostami's "Shirin" (2008), in which 113 Iranian women watch a movie about love and female self-sacrifice, based on a classic 12th century Persian poem. We never see the film they are watching, only intimate close-ups of their reactions to the film's content, from start to finish (95 minutes). 

Abbas Kiarostami's "Ten" (2002) is ten conversations between a woman and passengers in her car (her son, her sister, a bride, a prostitute, and a woman on her way to prayer) on the topics of sex, divorce, love and religion, which bring Iran's sexual and social politics into sharp focus. 

Jafar Panahi's "Offside" (2006) documents how women are legally banned from sports events in Iran to "protect" them from being exposed to the language men use at them, forcing many women to disguise themselves as men to sneak in. The film was shot in secret at the 2006 World Cup qualifying match, following a group of women on an odyssey to get past security to cheer on their country. Panahi is currently in prison with a 20 year ban on filmmaking, interviews, and leaving the country for making this film (and others like it). 

Then on Wednesday, August 20 we will watch three films made by Iranian Women:

One of the first great Iranian filmmakers was a woman, Forugh Farrokhzad, whose only film, "The House Is Black" (1962), was shot in the world's first leper colony and gave birth to the Iranian New Wave, shortly before she adopted one of the lepers and died at 32. 

We will also screen Samira Makhmalbaf's "Blackboards" (2000) about teachers who wander the mountainous region of Iranian Kurdistan with large blackboards on their backs in search of students, sometimes using the blackboards as shelter, camouflage, and shields for gunfire. 

Finally, we'll screen works by Mania Akbari ("In My Country Men Have Breasts"), who is currently evading arrest for depicting the ravages of breast cancer on her body to illustrate the effects of war on society. 

Don't miss these important and thought-provoking films.  All screenings begin at 8pm and are FREE.

1 comment:

  1. I spent a semester studying Abbas Kiarostami during graduate school. I love his work.