SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses

Razor's Edge

Date: 11 March 2017Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 11 March 2017Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Film

Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses looks at the often controversial role of women in Iranian cinema during the secular period from the 1930s to the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Through unprecedented access to the actresses and rare film clips of the works in which they appeared, filmmaker Bahman Maghsoudlou examines the effect that occurs when women gain expression in a stridently patriarchal society.

The culture and art of Iran, like those of nations throughout history, have always been inextricably tied to its societal problems, including its attitudes and treatment of women. Its cinema was not an exception. In a traditional, religious and male-dominated society, actresses dared to assert themselves within the relatively new art form, sacrificing to force acceptance of their presence in the cinema and subsequently bring modernity to the culture. This documentary approaches its subject on four levels: the biographical, the historical, the socio-political and the theoretical. Through interviews with many leading actresses of the time and unprecedented access to rare film clips of their work, filmmaker Bahman Maghsoudlou sheds a light on the important and controversial role women played in the development of Iranian cinema during the secular period from the 1930s right up to the Islamic revolution of 1979, examining the evolution of women’s roles, the difficulty of making films that broke from the patriarchal mode and the darkness that descended upon the arts when a new fanaticism began to take hold of the nation.

Premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival, Canada, 2016; the MESA Film Festival, Boston, USA, 2016; and the Festival International DU Film D’Histoire, Pessac, France, 2016.

Writer/Director/Producer: Bahman Maghsoudlou (2016), USA/Iran, Colour & B/W, 127 mins. In Persian with English subtitles.

View the trailer 

Screening to be followed by Q&A and discussion with director, Bahman Maghsoudlou.

Chair: Roya Arab, musician, archaeologist and curator

Tickets: £5. To purchase tickets please visit the SOAS Online Store.

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies

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