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Reform Cinema in IranFilm and Political Change in the Islamic Republic$
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Blake Atwood

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178174

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178174.001.0001

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Screening Reform

Screening Reform

Campaign Movies, Documentaries, and Urban Tehran

(p.61) 2 Screening Reform
Reform Cinema in Iran

Blake Atwood

Columbia University Press

Using the starting point of the 1997 policy that allowed campaign movies for the first time, this chapter examines how filmmakers have represented Khatami during elections. This chapter considers two films by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad: Under the Skin of the City (2001), a feature film that takes place during the 1997 elections, and Our Times… (2002), a documentary about the 2001 elections, and it charts Bani-Etemad’s critique of the Reformist Movement by analyzing her portrayal of urbanism and her appropriation of the documentary form. Before Khatami’s election a complicated process of censorship ensured that politics remained off screen, but these films both openly represent the political system and criticize it. In this way reform cinema participated in the very democratic ideals that undergirded Khatami’s reform efforts.

Keywords:   Election, Campaign Movies, Documentary, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Tehran

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