Iranian Cinema and Philosophy: Shooting Truth (Literatures and Cultures of the Islamic World)

Iranian Cinema and Philosophy: Shooting Truth (Literatures and Cultures of the Islamic World)

Language: English

Pages: 230

ISBN: 0230339115

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In film studies, Iranian films are kept at a distance, as 'other,' different, and exotic. In reponse, this book takes these films as philosophically relevant and innovative. Each chapter of this book is devoted to analyzing a single film, and each chapter focuses on one philosopher and one particular aesthetic question.

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this volume, Majid Majidi does not, in my view, stand out as a profound cinematic thinker and innovator. His films, especially The Color of Paradise and Children of Heaven,4 are at times overly sentimental, if not plainly cliché. A cliché, both in ordinary language and in Deleuze’s more technical sense, is an exhausted image, one that is not particularly revealing any more. It never shows us “the whole image, [but] always a little less, and only that which interests us” (Marrati, 2008: 62). Most

real differences. It is by now a commonplace cliché that Western politicians only bicker over minute differences. Being more socioeconomically stable, Western democracies rarely address the weaknesses and the inherent contradictions of their own systems. In debates with Ahmadinejad, the challengers spoke of a different Islam, one that is not obsessed with Israel, nuclear weapons, women’s oppression, and political antagonism. With Khomeini, Shi’ism became politicized, resulting in the hegemonic

Deleuze greatly admired (Deleuze, 1988, 1990). In Spinoza, God does not stand outside of time; Spinoza’s God lives and breathes with the world. It is life itself. In that sense, Mohammad’s teacher was right to tell him that he could find God through his touch, but it is not the Allah of the Iranian regime that is in the bird’s songs or the wind’s chime; it is the vitalism of life. Even if we stay with Majidi’s intended religious motifs, the fact remains that Mohammad did not return to God; he did

for risible propaganda, which the masses would have no interest in. The more an ideology forces itself onto the imaginary, the less effective it becomes. Western ideologies of individualism, for instance, are very potent because they are not forced on the people overtly; Western citizens consider themselves free-floating monads, in charge of their own lives, despite evidence to the contrary, precisely because the ideology, which tells them they are free, is amenable to their lives. As I mentioned

woman. Ahoo and her companions often have to adjust their chadors over their heads, because they catch the wind. Unlike ergonomic cycling sportswear, the veil slows them down. The young boys of the film’s first episode used the veil to sail ahead; the bicycle riders have to work against the wind. Meshkini gently and cleverly connects these visual metaphors,16 though they are barely needed. The women’s oppression is abundantly visible. Ahoo’s situation turns out to be particularly meaningful. Once

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