Cinema and National Identity provides a social history of the Iranian cinema during its first hundred years, 1900-2000.


ACLS Fellowship Program


Art History

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


Began in 1900, Iranian cinema evolved from an artisanal cottage industry patronized by the elite and the royalty into a robust film industry whose output in the 1990s surpassed that of Germany and England, and it blossomed into an internationally admired cinema whose filmmakers won almost all of the top prizes of major world film festivals. But,this evolution was not inevitable, for although modernity and Westernization were overdetermined, many social forces, including Shii Islam, conservative peasant tradition, illiteracy, inadequacy of technological and professional infrasturctures, and autocratic censorship impeded or countered it. Iranian cinema entered a semi-industrial production mode in the late 1960s, leading to increased productions and variety. It soared again after Revolution.