childhood in abbas kiarostami’s cinema

darian soheil rahnamaye rabbani, julio groppa aquino

Abstract


This article analyzes the theme of childhood in the films of Abbas Kiarostami in the context of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which toppled the secular, modernizing regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi and ended in the establishment of Islamic Republic of Iran under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini. It pays special attention to the Institute for the Cultural Development of Children and Adolescents, or Kanun. Founded during the Shah’s regime with the objective of creating educational materials, Kanun played an important role in Iran’s artistic-cultural production, both before and after the Revolution. Its cinema department, where several filmmakers started their careers (among them, Kiarostami, the first director of the department), became known as the birthplace of New Iranian Cinema. This article examines how six of Kiarostami’s films, produced between 1970 and 1989, discuss the position of children in Iranian society. In particular, it considers the changes wrought by the Revolution and the founding of a new historical subject based on a different framework for childhood. After a discussion of the use of films as a source for research, three framings of childhood in Kiarostami are presented: the child on the margins of society, the child at the center of society, and the child of the Revolution. The article closes by arguing that through narrative experimentation that uses childhood as a vehicle to explore the ideals of the revolutionary process, Kiarostami’s cinema serves as an inflection point for the modalities of veridiction and subjectivation and a peculiar type of ethical-political struggle.

Keywords


childhood; cinema, abbas kiarostami; iranian revolution

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12957/childphilo.2019.36890

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