Or, The Death of the Filmmaker
This chapter speaks to the ways in which reform cinema was wrapped up in the technological changes during Khatami’s presidency. In particular, video technology, which was banned in Iran between 1982 and 1993, gained widespread acceptance during Khatami’s presidency. Meanwhile, the proliferation of digital video at the beginning of the 21st century was changing what it meant to make and watch movies around the world. Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (1997) and Ten (2002) and Bahman Farmanara’s The Smell of Camphor, the Scent of Jasmine (2001) speak to this changing technology, and they play with video in order to show how this technology was democratizing filmmaking in Iran. This chapter contextualizes Kiarostami’s and Farmanara’s films by suggesting a history of video technology in Iran, one which demonstrates that the changing cultural value of video developed in tandem with Khatami’s discourse of reform.
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