Dossier: Iranian Cinema

Young people in Darband, northern Tehran (photo: Massoud Schirazi)

Iranian cinema

Shining a light on inner conflicts

"Darband" and "Sar be Mohr" are two new Iranian films that offer profound insights into the lives of young urban Iranians, highlighting their inner conflicts and the turmoil that is tearing many of them apart. Massoud Schirazi went to see both films in TeheranMore

Baran Kosari and Navid Mohammadzadeh in a still from the Iranian film "Asabani Nistam!" (I'm not angry!)

Interview with Iranian filmmaker Reza Dormishian

The rage of an entire generation on screen

The film "Asabani Nistam!" (I'm not angry!) was the only Iranian entry at this year's Berlinale film festival. On screen, young Iranians vent their anger and frustration at the day-to-day economic hardship and the general hopelessness of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's term as president. Igal Avidan spoke to the director and producer Reza DormishianMore

Still from the documentary "Iranien" (photo: Berlinale)

Mehran Tamadon's documentary "Iranien"

A bold experiment

In Mehran Tamadon's new documentary, the director enters into a debate with four loyal supporters of the regime, who better him in every aspect of the discussion. Igal Avidan saw the film at the BerlinaleMore

Scene from 'Manuscript's don't burn' by Mohammed Rasoulof  (source: Festival Cannes)

Mohammed Rasoulof's ''Manuscripts Don't Burn''

Iranian Agents as Killers

The Islamic Republic's intelligence service is unmasked for the first time in a film based on a series of murders of Iranian writers and intellectuals in the late 1990s. Stefan Buchen introduces the new movie by director Mohammed RasoulofMore

Image from the poster for the film 'In the Bazaar of Sexes'

The Documentary Film ''In the Bazaar of Sexes''


Temporary Marriage in Iran

The phenomenon of temporary marriage in the Islamic Republic of Iran is explored in the documentary In the Bazaar of Sexes. The film's female director, Sudabeh Morterzai, gives viewers a rare insight into a very complex society. Marian Brehmer watched the filmMore

Kevin Sheppard and his teammates from A.S. Shiraz (copyright:

Documentary Feature ''The Iran Job''

US Basketball Player as Cultural Diplomat

In Autumn 2008, film maker Till Schauder accompanied the American basketball player Kevin Sheppard to Iran, where he'd signed a contract to play a season with A.S. Shiraz. Initially, Sheppard tried to keep sport and politics apart, but he soon realised that that wasn't possible in Iran. By Laura OvermeyerMore

Scene from "Chicken with Plumbs" (source: PR)

Marjane Satrapi's "Chicken with Plums"

Magical Gallows Humour in Tehran

Expectations have been enormous for the follow-up to Persepolis. Would it be a new masterwork full of rebellion and subversion? Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud have instead taken a completely different trajectory with their new film "Chicken with plums." The result is a wonderful, surreal melodrama. By Susan VahabzadehMore

Poster calling for the release of director Jafar Panahi at the Berlinale (photo: DW)

Iranian Cinema

Forbidden Love Scenes in the Pious Dinosaur Nation

Tough rulings against Iranian filmmakers and the harsh treatment of female actors are causing despair in the film industry. But it wasn't always like this. Amir Hassan Cheheltan outlines the history of Iranian cinema, which is richer and more complex than the outside world realisesMore

Marjane Satrapi (photo: AP)

The Comic World of Marjane Satrapi

Yearnings for a Lost Homeland

Published 11 years ago, Marjane Satrapi's comic "Persepolis" on her youth in Iran caused a sensation. Millions of people loved the eponymous film based on the comic book. Satrapi has been busy making other films since, and talks to Kathrin Erdmann about homesickness and freedomMore

Enthusiastic supporters reaching out to shake the hand of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (photo: AP)

Interview with Director Petr Lom

The Dictator, My Pen Pal

Critics complain that with Letters to the President, director Petr Lom has made a propaganda film for a dictator. Speaking in an interview with Igal Avidan, Petr Lom highlights the day-to-day absurdities of cooperating with the Iranian regimeMore

"Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi (image: Sony Pictures)

Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis"

Stars and Bombs

Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel "Persepolis", about her childhood in Iran and growing up in Europe, made her world famous. The film version is banned in Iran but now showing in cinemas across the globe. Petra Tabeling reportsMore

Asghar Farhadi (photo: dpa)

Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly"

Who Knows the Truth?

For years, Iranian films have been regarded as a hot tip at the Berlin International Film Festival. This time as well, an Iranian production has managed to convince the Berlinale jury. Asghar Farhadi's gripping social drama "About Elly" was awarded the Silver Bear for best director. By Ariana MirzaMore

Cinema in Iran

The Calm before the Storm?

It's not that long since Iranian cinema was famous for its innovation, winning international prizes across the board. But now the buzz about the Iranian film industry has died down, both in the West and in the Islamic Republic itself. Amin Farzanefar considers the state of Iranian film past and presentMore

Young Cineasts House, Tehran

Film Center Opens up New Perspectives

Directors like Kiarostami or Makhmalbaf have long become icons of contemporary Iranian film. But young, unknown Persian directors are often overlooked. A private film foundation attempts to gain more attention for these directors.More

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad (photo: Robert Richter)

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad

Filming the Margins of Iranian Society

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad is one of Iran's most prominent – and provocative – filmmakers. She has just finished directing "Mainline", a film about a young Iranian drug addict. Robert Richter reviews Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's film careerMore

Tahmineh Milani (photo: private)

Interview with Tahmineh Milani

Between Censorship and a Smash Hit

Her work has been a constant tightrope walk between tradition and emancipation, between freedom and censorship. The Iranian director Tahmineh Milani talks about women directors, their mission, and cinemaMore