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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


August 28, 2000

Bubble-gum cinema

Finally someone with enough guts to put into words what many of us have felt all along about the new invasion of Iranian cinema ["Not THAT good"].

Iranian cinema has become the most recent target of the West's constant search for what is exotic and "other." One can travel back in history and see the same phenomenon repeat itself many times.

For instance, the English-speaking world had a similar fascination with the harems, caliphs and Islamic myths in mid 19th century, as is evident in works such as "Haji Baba" or "Lala Rok."

My own personal concern is not really with the current Western crush on Iranian movie industry. For all I care, Westerners can shower the latest movie about the cripple/blind/love-stricken child with all the kudos they want.

What is of concern is that once this fascination ends, what is remembered of this era of Iranian cinema is one epitomized by a simplistic, bubble-gum-humanistic view of Iran and Iranian culture which trivializes the complexity of we know the real Iran to be.

My compliments to Ms. Sohrabi.

Ramin Tabib


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