Michelle Langford: Allegory in Iranian Cinema

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Michelle Langford


In this episode, join host, Yasamin Jameh, in exploring how Iranian filmmakers use their culture’s profound heritage in the field of hermeneutics to incorporate allegory in their cinematic works.

The 26th of Parse is a snippet of a talk given by Michelle Langford on the importance of allegory in many Iranian films, and how its use has become an indispensable tool for Iranian filmmakers to express forbidden topics and issues in their movies while also bypassing strict state censorship policies. By drawing on a long history of allegorical expression in Persian poetry and the arts, Langford goes even further by arguing that allegory has become an integral part of the poetics of Iranian cinema.  
Michelle Langford is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Her research spans the cinemas of Iran and Germany. She is the author of Allegorical Images: Tableau, Time and Gesture in the Cinema of Werner Schroeter (2006). Her 2021 book, Allegory in Iranian Cinema explores the allegorical aesthetics of Iranian cinema, explaining how it has emerged from deep cultural traditions and how it functions as a strategy for both supporting and resisting dominant ideology. 

To watch the full talk, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTjTLd4QJyE&t=1650s