The Representation of Women in Iranian Cinema before and after Revolution(1979)

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 10:28
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tahereh HAJHOSSEINI, no affiliation, Iran
Culture can be studied as an intermediary of miscellaneous fields of art. Cinema is an artistic area with an interactive relation with culture. It can either affect culture or be influenced by it. The presence of women in Iranian cinema can be generally divided in two periods, before and After the Islamic revolution of 1979.

  The theoretical framework of the research is the feminist film theory. Therefore, the research method is a combination of psychoanalysis and semiotics as the textual analysis. To this end, six box office hits produced from 1979 to 2010 through four different political eras have been chosen and were analyzed and compared with six celebrated pre-revolution movies. A qualitative procedure and the content analysis technique were means to this study purpose.

 The research shows the changes of representation of women on the screen corresponds with Iranian women’s successes in transition from the private to the public. Image of women on the screen has been partially a reflection of what women do or are trying to do in the society. Before the revolution, women’s roles were limited to stereotypes of hysteric housewives, naïve girls coming from provinces and women of low morals. With the advent of the Revolution in 1979 and during the 8-year war, presence of women considerably drops off. But afterwards, women gradually established themselves in the cinema industry; employed and socially active women started to make appearances in the movies and sometimes played the main roles without hints of sexploitation.

 On the other hand, the major issue that concerns western feminists about Hollywood film industry is objectifying women. This study intends to determine if as a result of obligatory Hijab (Islamic wearing) in Iranian cinema and therefore the lack of sexploitation, these feminist film theories are not completely in accordance about Iranian film industry.