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May 2023

Recovered Memories

The Female Gaze in postrevolutionary Iranian Cinema
Curated by Afsun Moshiry

In 1979, when the Islamic Revolution was under way, observers and professionals in the film industry were initially concerned about the future of cinema in Iran. Cinema Rex in Abadan and other cinemas were burned down in the name of morality. However, after overcoming uncertainty, Iranian cinema began to produce more films than ever before. Despite censorship, film became a tool to challenge social conditions. Desiring to tell their own stories, after the revolution women filmmakers such as Pouran Derakhshandeh, Tahmineh Milani and Rakhsan Banietemad produced several works. Self-reflexive and courageous, they tell of the needs of modern women in Iran. Of all the paradoxes that have emerged in Iranian society in recent decades, none is more complex than the question of gender and its representation. 

Gender and sexual identity cannot be expressed freely in the public sphere. This fictional representation continues in film, distorting the image of Iranian women in particular. Recovered Memories presents cinematic works that deal with questions of the representation of intimacy, repression in everyday life, economic constraints and gender roles from a female perspective. This three-part programme is a reappraisal of female collective memory with contemporary films by Iranian women filmmakers who spare no effort in making their voices heard.

Afsun Moshiry is an Iranian-German Film curator and producer. In 2017, she returned to her homeland of Iran with the aim to strengthen a cultural bridge between Germany and Iran in the field of cinema. She has initiated film programs with Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Berlinale Shorts, Interfilm, Arsenal - Institut für Film, Videokunst e.V. and Forum Expanded. Since 2020, she has lived and worked in Berlin. She has widened her field of work from cinema to performing arts with studies at Salzburg University. She has curated Iranian film programs for Berliner Festspiele and Akademie der Künste. Since 2021, she is a member of the selection team at Kasseler Dokfest.

Funded by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa

Dystopian Pasts

Dystopian Pasts

Suzan Iravanian, Iran, Czech Republic 2019, 104 Min., OV with English subs, DCP