Sixth Annual Sadighi Lecture by Professor Hamid Naficy
Identified toward the end of the Shah’s rule as potent agents of moral corruption of society, movies and movie houses became targets of a rising oppositional movement, resulting in the destruction of a third of all movie houses nationwide.
This talk focuses on such revolutionary destruction and the subsequent rebuilding and evolution of the film industry. Many film personnel were side-lined, banned, arrested, deprived of property, or exiled. The star system, a major attraction of the popular film farsi cinema, was dismantled. Movies were banned, cut, redubbed, and painted over to remove offending features.
After such iconoclastic destructions and ‘purification’ the new Islamic regime undertook a wide-ranging effort to institutionalize a new film industry whose values would be commensurate with the newly formulated Islamicate values.
The long war with Iraq, the gendered segregation of space, and the imposition of the veil on women encouraged certain ideological and aesthetic trends. Foremost was the reconceptualization of cinema from a despised agent of corruption and othering to an agent of nation building and selfing. However, the resulting Islamicate cinema and culture are neither homogeneous nor static. They evolved with considerable personal, institutional, and ideological struggles.
About Professor Hamid Naficy
Hamid Naficy is Professor of Radio-Television-Film and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication at Northwestern University, where he also has an appointment with the Department of Art History. He is a leading authority in cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media and of Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas. Naficy has published and lectured extensively, nationally and internationally, on these and allied topics.
His English language books are: An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking; Home, Exile, Homeland: Film, Media, and the Politics of Place; The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles; Otherness and the Media: the Ethnography of the Imagined and the Imaged (co-edited); and Iran Media Index. His latest work is the award-winning four-volume book A Social History of Iranian Cinema, published in 2011-12. He has also published extensively in Persian, including a two-volume book on the documentary cinema theory and history, Film-e Mostanad. He has also produced and directed many educational and documentary films.
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