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Lecture Series

Exhibiting Asia in the 21st Century

Writing the Social History of Iranian Cinema

Sunday, March 10, 4PM
Hamid Naficy, professor of radio, television, and film and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication, Northwestern University

From the beginning, Iranian cinema has been both intensely local and global. A royal cameraman of the Qajar court filmed the first documentary footage in Europe in 1900, an Iranian expatriate poet produced the first sound movies in India in the 1930s, and Iranians in the diaspora have created more than a thousand films since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Many filmmakers inside Iran belonged to ethno-religious minorities—Christians, Jews, and Bahais—and some of them were émigrés from neighboring countries. This talk concentrates on Hamid Naficy’s nearly 40-year effort to write a historiography of this dynamic and complex film industry and its role in modernizing, expressing, and representing Iranian society. A book-signing follows. This lecture is presented with the generous support of the Foundation for Iranian Studies.

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Photo by Mitra Mahasseni

The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.