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in the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery:

12th & R Sts University of Nebraska-Lincoln: (402) 472-5353
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The Iranian Cinema:

A Dream With No Awakening

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The Iranian Cinema

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A Dream With No Awakening


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Showing April 13 -16, April 20 - 23

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Screening times and synopses will be available at the MRRFT Box Office


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Along with China, Iran has been lauded as one of the exporters of great cinema in the nineties. World-renowned German filmmaker Werner Herzog, along with many film critics from around the world, has praised Iranian cinema as one of the world's most important emerging artistic cinemas. Gaining momentum since the late 80's, the Iranian wave reached a symbolic crest in the summer of 1997, when Iranian films won the top prizes at the Cannes, Locarno, and Montreal Film Festivals. With the Iranian revolution in 1979 came a ban against all Hollywood movies. Only a few years later, Iranian films are capturing major prizes at many of the world's most prestigious film festivals. Here in America, Iranian cinema is something of an unknown quantity, thanks in part to the American media's one-dimensional depiction of Iran. In fact, American audiences are becoming aware of Iranian films just as the wave seems to be cresting. To American audiences, accustomed to Hollywood editing and liberal doses of nudity and mayhem, the pace and look of Iranian films may represent a challenge. A mandate against the depiction of sex and gratuitous violence has forced Iranian filmmakers to create excitement in other ways. Filmmaking in Iran dates back to the turn of the century, when the making of home movies became an aristocratic hobby at the Ghajar court. An Iranian art cinema-thoughtful films focusing on contemporary social problems-first attracted international attention in the late '60s. After the revolution, the new regime recognized the power of film to reach and influence a mass audience, and took steps to develop a distinctive national cinema. From a mere 15 features in 1982, Iranian production has grown to an average of 52 titles per year during the past decade. By no means do all these belong on the international art house circuit. Nonetheless, when one surveys the best work of the past 10 years, the number of Iran's world-class films and filmmakers is astounding. This retrospective will present a selection of some of the best works of contemporary Iranian cinema, which will also offer an excellent perspective on contemporary life in Iran, something not readily available in our country.

the_iranian_cinema_poster.gif (7190 bytes)Some of the films included in this retrospective are: The Apple, based on a true story that exploded into a national scandal in Iran, is both the shocking story of two young girls imprisoned by their parents, and a metaphor for the filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf's longing for freedom and women's equality in her native Iran. Leila by Dariush Mehrjui, one of the most griping and beautifully acted recent Iranian films, its director at once an astute, thoughtful social critic and an ingeniously distinctive stylist. Winner of Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, Addas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry is stirring and humane, an existential stunner, and a glowing work of art. And two masterpieces by Mohsen Makhmalbaf: The Silence, a lyrical and poetic look at the life of a 10-year-old blind boy who experiences the world through sound, and A Moment of Innocence, exploring the relationship between truth and memory by re-creating an incident from his own life when, as a 17-year-old rebel against the Shah's regime, he stabbed a young policeman and was imprisoned for five years. Complete schedules with synopses will be available at the MRRFT box office.

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-- $6.50

Members of the friends of the MRRFT,  students, children, and senior citizens

-- $4.50


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