Saturday, July 30, 2005

Nothing new under the sun

I watched a movie yesterday (name didn't stick) about American woman marrying a Muslim and going with him to Iran of the 80s. The movie is western, but Iran is portrayed very well. And what I saw, although it was nothing I didn't know about, was quite a surprise. Before, if someone asked me about Iran I would think "evil ayatollahs", "nuclear warheads", "religious fanatics". That's about all I know about Iran. But when watching the movie I suddenly realized I am looking at something painfully familiar. Something I actually understand. It looked so much like Soviet Union period Russia! Not in big things but in many small details that merge into an atmosphere. The scale of gray everywhere; the poor apartments; the wooden doors; the dirty walls; the attitude of relatives; the job trouble; the patriarchal society (like in Russian periphery); the religious zealotry; the women wearing exact same kerchiefs as Russian orthodox nuns (only in Iran it's all the woman); the dissidents; the "revolution" with it's guardians and beneficiaries; mixture of fear, idolatry, and hate of the "system" in the air; the feeling of a lost generation.
Scary. It has the taste of evil empire in that movie. While I realize that movies distort reality, I also know that it looks real enough. Now, Iran could go down the path of USSR and disintegrate on it's own. But I doubt it. Communists made the mistake of going against Russian orthodox church. Ayatollahs are the “church”. Communists were afraid to use nuclear weapons. Ayatollahs dream to use them as soon as possible. Communists had Regan. Ayatollahs have Bush.
Do the math.

5 comments:

Irina Tsukerman said...

Was the movie called "Not without my daughter"?

Yury Puzis said...

yep, that's it

Gothamimage said...

That's an interesting post - a while back there was a fest of Iranian films in NYC and it was hard to make a quick judgement- Iran struck me as many countries. Of course, so was the USSR. While Iran has greatly benefited from the toppling of Saddam, they are stil a weak enteprise.

Khalij-Khazar said...

Being an Iranian, I have to tell you that that movie was complete nonsense. You cant make a judgment on a country and its people through a Western made film. If you're interested in taking a real glimpse of Iran and the Iranian people, check out these films: Children of Heaven, Baran, The Lizard. these three are really good, and deal with various topics.

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