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By Govindini Murty. Today we commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Iran democracy protests.  I’ll be commenting at greater length later on some of the fine recent films by Iranian filmmakers that have explored Iran’s current social and political issues.  For now, though, I wanted to show you two interesting short films on Iran.

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The first film, titled Iran: A Nation of Bloggers, is a fast-paced, informative two minute short about how Iranians have embraced blogging in order to express themselves freely to the rest of the world.  It was directed by Aaron Chiesa as a project for the Vancouver Film School.  (I have fond memories of Vancouver Film School from my early days as an actress when I was living in Vancouver, as I acted in some of the school’s short films.)  The short features striking animation reminiscent of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (in fact, I think a couple of shots were used from Persepolis) – and a catchy, exotic, pop-music sound track.  You can watch Iran: A Nation of Bloggers above.

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The second film is Exile Paranoia, a ten minute short by Iranian filmmaker Nassrin Nasser.  The film explores in a haunting, meditative manner Nasser’s own feelings of alienation and confusion as she seeks to get a visa/passport to leave Iran and come to the West.  Exile Paranoia moves at a dreamlike pace that is the opposite of Iran: A Nation of Bloggers, but I like the contrast.  And while Iran: A Nation of Bloggers features black and white animation done in the radical-chic, populist style that dates back to Soviet constructivist art (and that was most recently seen in Obama’s “Hope” poster), Exile Paranoia is a softer, more intimate film that explores one woman’s emotions in a poetic, understated style.  I like the subtle use of color in Exile Paranoia – from white to cream to green to blue – and the dream-like, computer-composited shots of night-time Tehran.  I also find it interesting to see a brief glimpse of life from the viewpoint of an Iranian woman filmmaker.  Whether I would agree with her feelings about the West or not (the one Western male in the film is portrayed as a cold jerk, but maybe that’s just what this filmmaker has experienced), it’s still interesting to see life from her viewpoint.

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Posted on June 29th, 2010 at 9:26pm.

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4 Responses to “Explorations of Free Speech and Alienation: Two Short Films on Iran”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mr. K. Mr. K said: RT @LibertasFilmMag: Explorations of Free Speech and Alienation: Two Short Films on Iran … See: [...]

  2. Claude says:

    I enjoyed the imagery of both films, though the second one was perhaps a little too opaque in its intentions.

  3. M. Riva says:

    The Iranians have had a rich cultural heritage that is often at odds with Islam and its prohibition against images. This often plays out in the cinema, for many of the Arab Muslim nations have produced little cinematically, the Iranians have a prolific, artistically accomplished cinema output.

  4. Pong says:

    I like what the Iranians are doing in film right now. I wish I could say the same thing about their government.

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