Transnational Dimensions of Iranian Cinema: “accented films” by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Elżbieta Wiącek

Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf left Iran in 2005 shortly after the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The artist underwent a multiphase evolution away from the supporter of Islamic regime in the early 1980s to cosmopolitan internationally acclaimed auteur. Finally, he became not only a dissident filmmaker but also a political dissident in the aftermath of 2009 presidential election. As exile wears on, Makhmalbaf became postnational filmmaker, making a variety of “accented films”. Not all the consequences of internationalization are positive – to be successful in transnational environment he has to face much larger competition and the capitalist market. Having in mind the categories of displaced Iranian directors distinguished by Hamid Naficy – exilic, diasporic, émigré, ethnic, cosmopolitan – I would like to find out which one of them applies to Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s life and work. I also will focus on the following questions: To what extent the censorship of Makhmalbaf’s artistic activity was a reason for his migration? how are migratory experiences expressed in his movies? What features of “the accented cinema” his movies are manifesting? I would argue that the experience of migration and the transnationality was the characteristic feature of Makhmalbaf’s his work long before leaving the home country. It can be said that regardless this stylistic diversity, all of Makhmalbaf’s movies made abroad can be described as the example of “accented cinema” which comprises different types of cinema made by exilic and diasporic filmmakers who live and work in countries other than their country of origin.
Słowa kluczowe: Iranian cinema, Islam, censorship, migration, cosmopolitan, transnational, Accented Cinema
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