The Persian Film Festival is pleased to celebrate the launch of Michelle Langford’s new book, Allegory in Iranian Cinema: The Aesthetics of Poetry and Resistance (Bloomsbury, 2019).
Iranian filmmakers have long been recognised for creating a vibrant, aesthetically rich cinema whilst working under strict state censorship regulations. As Michelle Langford reveals, many have found indirect, allegorical ways of expressing forbidden topics and issues in their films. But for many, allegory is much more than a foil against haphazardly applied censorship rules. Drawing on a long history of allegorical expression in Persian poetry and the arts, allegory has become an integral part of the poetics of Iranian cinema. Allegory in Iranian Cinema explores the allegorical aesthetics of Iranian cinema, explaining how it has emerged from deep cultural traditions and how it functions as a strategy for both supporting and resisting dominant ideology. Allegory in Iranian Cinema explains how a centuries-old means of expression, interpretation, encoding and decoding becomes, in the hands of Iran’s most skilled cineastes, a powerful tool with which to critique and challenge social and cultural norms.