Leaving Homeland: The Evolving Conceptualization of Migration in the Iranian Cinema of the 2010s

  • Babak Tabarraee University of Texas at Austin
Keywords migration, Iran, Cinema, dystopia, utopia
Keywords migration, Iran, Cinema, dystopia, utopia

Abstract

Many of the Iranian films released inside Iran during the 2010s address the latest wave of Iranians’ emigrations since 2009. Examining the dominant tropes of migration in their narrative subsets, this article argues that the Iranian cinema of the last decade offers a paradigm shift in its conceptualization of migration which may reflect a gradual change in Iranian society. This study proposes that while some recent Iranian films have maintained the pre-established traditions of depicting the hosting countries of immigrants on utopic and/or dystopic terms, a high number of movies have instead presented temporary or permanent migration as a natural, self-evident, and righteous choice. Analyzing the representational strategies of these films obfuscates the imagined borders of a global community of Iranians and problematizes the classic definition of farangistan (foreign lands) by lessening its otherness from Iranshahr (the land of Iranians).

Author Biography

Babak Tabarraee, University of Texas at Austin

Babak Tabarraee is an assistant professor of instruction and the coordinator of the Persian program at The University of Texas at Austin. He has published three books of fiction in Iran as well as more than 20 literary and theoretical books translated from English. His writings in English have appeared in academic journals Dibur, Iranian Studies, The Soundtrack, Cinephile, and The Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies. He is currently working on a book on Iranian cult cinema and a screenplay.

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Published
2022-03-14