This year’s program with a country focus, Myths of the World, focuses on a country: IRAN.
The Unveiled Revolt. Monsters, Myths and Power in Iranian genre cinema.
Dive into the world of Persian mythology, where female power and bravery rise to overcome fear and oppression. This Myths of the World programme explores the themes of female agency and resistance in Iran, where Islamic law, the economic crisis and deeply entrenched misogyny have created a struggle for women’s rights, on which Iranian and Iranian diasporic genre film can shed a fascinating light.
Through the classical myth of djinns and the more contemporary myth of the doppelgänger we explore the power of symbolism in life under a theocracy. As lecturer Zahra Khosroshahi described it, it is the attack of the djinn in Under the Shadow that is “used to critique the Islamic regime and its intrusion into the private sphere”. While director Mani Haghighi explained how the figure of the doppelgänger in his film Subtraction represents how “living in a theocracy splits you in two. You must become two people to survive. A private life, and a public mask.”i
This programme uncovers the reality behind the fear by celebrating women’s strength and resilience. Through terrifying stories, we find how the experience of women has been essential in understanding what drives the current revolution in Iran. Embedded in the heart of Persian legends, young and old, we’ll find how ongoing struggles for justice hasve always been met with resilience and defiance in the face of inequality and oppression.
Apart from screenings of four contemporary Iranian genre films, the programme consists of a keynote lecture by dr. Zahra Khosroshahi, four female storytellers taking on the roles of strong Iranian women from Persian mythology and classical literature, and a talkshow with Iranian female artists, scholars and activists from the diaspora.
- 180º Rule – Farnoosh Samadi – Iran, 2020
- Chess of the Wind – Mahammad Reza Aslani – Iran 1976
- Subtraction – Mani Haghighi – Iran 2022
- Under the Shadow – Babak Anvari – UK, Jordan, Qatar, Iran 2016
Imagine Fantastic Film Festival has multiple themes. A general genre-wide program, a country focus, a special, an Expanded/VR program, and the professionals program under the theme ‘Industry’. Read more about the theming of our program here, or choose directly for the relevant theme information via the blocks below.