Religious Identity and Mass Media: The Situation of Women in Iranian Cinema Following the Islamic Revolution

10 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020

Date Written: August 19, 2012


Mass media has had a significant role in today's Iranian society. The presence of active artists and their features is also very important in this era. Presently, the presence of women as actresses or film producers has been a significant factor in the Iranian cinema. Throughout the pre-revolution era, cinema had treated women more like an objects or commoditiesy, and because of this, they disappeared from cinema during the few years following the revolution. The role of women before the revolution was very limited and unnoticeable and they merely played the role of a mother or wife. A comparison of their role back in those years with the roles that they play presently is quite worthy of mention.

The importance of women in Iranian cinema can be traced to various cultural and social circumstances, which are known also as: (a) The social, economical, political and developmental programs in Iran have enhanced the educational and didactic levels, and the public are more literate than before, hence, social knowledge has increased. This has been among the issues considered after the Islamic revolution. (b) Because of the enhancement of the level of religious teachings following the revoution, women are now more able to participate in social affairs and fewer prohibitions are enforced on their presence in social arenas. This has made it easier for them to perform their roles as social actors in the religious cinema and films made on the Iran-Iraq war, commonly called the "Sacred Defense," and to face fewer negative reactions from their families. Thus, they have had an equal chance as compared to their male counterparts to perform in these films. (c) The present article studies the position of women and the attitudinal changes that have occurred in Iranian cinema following the revolution (especially the cinema during war). The method used in this study is based on the competence of women’s presence in Iranian films throughout time. For this purpose, the women presentation’s level the level of presentations made of women, their roles, and the disputes and negotiations that have been made throughout time has been compared with mens (since the Islamic Revolution). This article has made a comparison among a few two movies, with. The results have proven demonstrating that women have appeared emerged as active participants in this art form after a period of silence and estrangement from cinema and the Fajr (war) movies (war movies). This reproducing of role creation has transformed the religious cinema and movies on the sacred defense and also the political ones. In other words, Iranian women have had an opportunity to prove themselves in the religious and epic cinema as well as in the social and family centered cinema, where as in both the marginal and the central roles.

Keywords: mass media, women, Iranian Cinema, Islamic Revolution, religious teaching

Suggested Citation

Bahar, Mehri, Religious Identity and Mass Media: The Situation of Women in Iranian Cinema Following the Islamic Revolution (August 19, 2012). OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 04, No. 11, pp. 35-44, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Mehri Bahar (Contact Author)

University of Tehran ( email )

Amirabad e shomali, kuye daneshgah e Tehran
Tehran, UT Tehran 5433174616

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