2019. Iran, United Kingdom. 83 min.
Director: Ehsan Khoshbakht
“Filmfarsi”, a term jokingly coined by critics referring to the rowdy and melodramatic genre films made from the early 1950s to 1979, represents a flourishing film industry which has virtually been erased since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. This documentary uncovers a cinema of stereotypical characters, melodramatic plots, seductive women and campy song and dance routines which presented a troubling mirror for the country, as Iran struggled to reconcile its religious traditions with the turbulence of modernity, and the influences of the West. Four years in the making, Filmfarsi features clips from more than 100 films, providing a fascinating period of history of Iran: a country confused about its identity, caught between optimism and disillusion. Discussion with director Ehsan Khoshbakht, moderated by Samhita Sunya (UVA/VAFF) to follow.
Filmfarsi Is part of the Middle Eastern & South Asian Film Series supported by UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds, the Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture, and UVA Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures