Masterpieces from the Iranian Film Industry

The artworks born from the social dilemma of Iran

Iranian films have been contributing to the very sophisticated parts of world art and culture for more than the past sixty years. The impact of Marxist ideology, the direct example from Soviet cultural progress, has started impacting Iran’s cultural segments since the 1960s. The new wave in the Iranian movie, as defined by the historians and film experts, was started during the 1980s, soon after the collapse of Shah’s authoritarian regime through the great Iranian revolution in 1979 that led to the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The films started to investigate the key problems of the Iranian society that was faced by the majority of the Iranian people, indeed the downtrodden, the workers, the peasants and all the working people. This, however , started in the early 60s. The Iranian movie genre started to enter into a newer phase, often termed as ‘new waves’ in the Iranian movies.

The new waves in the Iranian movies are divided into three segments. The first one is from 1960-90, the second wave is from 1991-2000 and since 2001 it is the third wave still going on.

Below we’d like to mention some of the never forgettable artworks from the Iranian film industry. Let’s have a look!

The first wave 

In the year of 1969, Dariush Mehrjui made a film named ‘The Cow’ that made a sensational strike in the Iranian film society. It was based on the story and play written by the great Iranian writer Gholam-Hossein Saedi. The movie exposed the exploitation of the rural poor by the Shah’s regime in a form of satire and symbolism. The writer and the director both were ideologically Marxists which was reflected in their artworks. ‘The Cow’ is identified as the first film of the new wave in the Iranian film industry.

In the same year, another filmmaker Masoud Kimiai made a film namely ‘Qeysar’ that is still regarded as a masterpiece from the Iranian film genre. The film depicted the story of a brother’s revenge for the sake of his sister’s pride and honour. The movie stimulated the Iranian society and got recognition even at the international level by the movie buffs.

The Second wave 

The greatest filmmaker of Iran, Abbas Kiarostami, entered with his film ‘Close Up’ in 1990 that shakes the psychological state of a viewer every time he watches the film. An unsuccessful filmmaker’s psychological dilemma is represented in the movie in a meta-fictional form. This was an epoch-changing creation that now has become a legend in the history of world film.

The Third wave

Bahman Ghobadi’s ‘A Time for Drunken Horses’ in 2000 or the Golden Globe-winning ‘A Separation by Asghar Farhadi in 2011 are the masterpieces from the third wave of the Iranian movies that you can’t leave unwatched.

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