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September 30, 2009
From slapstick to romance, Iran’s film industry is unique

The Worldfocus signature story “Iranian authorities can’t stop flood of Western culture” explores Iran’s thriving popular culture and the government’s futile attempts to control what Iranian citizens see and hear.

Worldfocus producer Rebecca Haggerty spoke via Skype with Iranian film scholar Negar Mottahedeh, an associate professor of literature and women’s studies at Duke University. She discusses the evolution of Iranian cinema and the impact of the 1979 revolution on the industry, arguing that in adapting to government restraints, Iranian directors have introduced a “whole new language” to world cinema.

Watch a clip from an early Iranian film, “Lor Girl” — the first with sound ever to be produced in the Persian language. In the film, which was made in the early 1930s, a girl is kidnapped by thieves:

Watch a clip from a more modern Iranian film, “Char Changule,” a comedy about a pair of conjoined twins — one devout, the other a party animal:

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