When Iranian American anthropologist Pardis Mahdavi first visited Tehran in the summer of 2000, she expected to encounter the Iran she grew up imagining.
Her family remembered violence and extremism, and these were the images that stuck: “women clad in black chadors, wailing and whipping themselves,” “black bearded men with heavy hearts and souls,” arranged marriages, and the fierceness of the “morality police.” But while she encountered this repressed side of Iran, she also heard stories of and witnessed signs of what some friends and informants called a sexual or sociocultural revolution. Now the youth are trying to figure out what to do with all these opening doors.” Understandably, young people experience confusion in the face of competing ideals and desires—traditional expectations versus contemporary temptations—and the stakes of personal decisions remain high.
But I’m just an ordinary art student trying to make ends meet.” – Farzad seen near Emamzadeh-Hassan via Humans of Tehran.S.-based Iranian Auteur Amir Naderi to Shoot ‘Mountain’ in Italy - Variety (September 5, 2016) NRFF Interviews Javid Rezai (September 2016) ABC Buys Iranian-American Family Comedy From Andrew Reich & Reza Aslan - Deadline (August 31, 2016) If Hollywood made an Iranian anti-US revenge fantasy - BBC (August 25, 2016) The 21st Century's 100 greatest films - BBC (August 23, 2016) The Night Of’s Payman Maadi on Middle Eastern Stereotypes in Hollywood and Getting Past the Censors in Iran - Vulture (August 22, 2016) 'Banned' Mohsen Makhmalbaf film to open Venice Classics - Screen Daily (August 19, 2016) Iran's Amir Naderi to receive Venice Film Festival honour - Screen Daily (August 18, 2016) Anne Frank film shot during 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict secretly screened in Iran - The Guardian (August 18, 2016) In Johannesburg, Shirin Neshat’s New Videos Conjure the Power of Dreams - Artsy (August 9, 2016) "Raving Iran" - a film documentary - Qantara (August 8, 2016) This Iranian-Born Actress Is Changing the Acting World - Time Magazine (August 8, 2016) Dia Mirza's Indo-Iranian film to release in October - Times of India (July 21, 2016) Abbas Kiarostami’s long shadow - The Economist (July 18, 2016) Iranian Film festival to mark 60 years of India-Iran cultural ties - Hindustan Times (July 16, 2016) The filming of Rumi - Qantara (July 13, 2016) Iran Bid Farewell to Late Filmmaker Kiarostami - CHN (July 9, 2016) Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami brought Iranian cinema to the West - CS Monitor (July 5, 2016) The Iranian Master Abbas Kiarostami Turned the Cinema Into a Mesmerizing Meditation - Variety (July 5, 2016) Abbas Kiarostami, award-winning Iranian film director, dies - BBC (July 4, 2016) Abbas Kiarsotami among new members of Academy - Tehran Times (July 1, 2016) Iranian film Daughter gets Grand Prix at Moscow film festival - TASS (July 1, 2016) Mirkarimi's 'Daughter' Highly Welcomed in Moscow - CHN (June 28, 2016) 'The Music of Strangers' shows how musicmaking can be salvation - CS Monitor (June 17, 2016) Leonardo Di Caprio may play Persian poet Rumi in upcoming biopic. - WP (June 9, 2016) Review: ‘The Music of Strangers,’ on Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble - NY Times (June 9, 2016) | Trailer LAFF: The Premiere of "A Hundred Streets" - Culver City (June 8, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Equity" - Culver City (June 8, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Kicks" - Culver City (June 8, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "So B.It" - Culver City (June 7, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Abattoir" - Culver City (June 7, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Girl Flu" - Culver City (June 6, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Don't Think Twice" - Culver City (June 6, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Don't Hang Up" - Culver City (June 4, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Dying Laughing" - Culver City (June 4, 2016) LAFF: The Premiere of "Tracktown" - Culver City (June 4, 2016) Suspected Tattoo on Iranian Actress Creates a Commotion - NY Times (May 31, 2016) Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem in Talks to Star in Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish-Language Film - Variety (May 25, 2016) Asghar Farhadi, Shahab Hosseini awarded at Cannes Film Festival - Press TV (May 22, 2016) Cannes: Why Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ Signals a Post Nuclear Deal Cinematic Resurgence in Iran - Variety (May 22, 2016) Asghar Farhadi in Cannes: ‘Terrorists feel they have good reason to be violent' - The Guardian (May 21, 2016) Cannes Film Review: ‘The Salesman’ - Variety (May 18, 2016) Cannes Film Review: ‘Inversion’ - Variety (May 18, 2016) Charles Gillibert, RT Features to Produce Abbas Kiarostami’s ’24 Frames’ - Variety (May 12, 2016) A ‘Significant Year’ for Films From the Middle East at Cannes - NY Times (May 10, 2016) TCM Film Festival: Francis Ford Coppola Tribute - Hollywood (April 29, 2016) TCM Film Festival: Illeana Douglas Book Signing - Hollywood (April 29, 2016) The ancient Persian god that may be at the heart of ‘Game of Thrones’ - WP (April 24, 2016) Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ Joins Cannes Film Festival Competition - Variety (April 22, 2016) Desert Dancer review – flat-footed drama 2 / 5 stars - The Guardian (April 21, 2016) Where are the censors?But behind the political posturing are the actual people who live and work in Iran, and they don’t look as different as these leaders might like us to imagine.
Just as there is no single understanding of what an American looks like, there is no essential Iranian, either.Now we, this generation, are opening them one by one. Well, yes, with a few women at a time, but who hasn’t done that?