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The City in Film: Imagining Post-WWII Iran in “Film-Farsi” Popular Cinema
January 22, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
Professor Golbarg Rekabtalaei is an assistant professor of history and the co-director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program at Seton Hall University. As a cultural and social historian of modern Iran and the modern Middle East, her research focuses on the relationships between culture and cultural production, modernity, cosmopolitanism, urbanization, nationalism, and revolution. More specifically, she is interested in the role of cinema, in concrete form and onscreen, in facilitating cosmopolitan imaginations and hybrid subjectivities in early-twentieth-century Iran. Her book, Iranian Cosmopolitanism: A Cinematic History, was published in Cambridge University Press’ Global Middle East book series in 2019.
After World War II, the urban became a focal point for many films of the Iranian popular cinema, commonly known as “Film-Farsi.” In this presentation, Golbarg Rekabtalaei shows how from the 1950s to 1960s, representations of the city in film worked as a form of urban criticism in the pre-revolutionary era. Far from the ideal image of the city that the Pahlavi dynasty attempted to portray, these films evoked an image of a city that was in crisis.