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Filmic Discourses on the Role of the Clergy in Iran

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Historically, Iran has witnessed a constant debate on the role of its clergy, which still continues in the current theocratic state of the Islamic Republic. These contentious debates, however, are not limited to a select few, but include a number of the most notable clerics in Iran. This article draws attention to some of these critical views and parallel filmic narratives through the study of Under the Moonlight and The Lizard. Both these films have creatively employed the medium to engage in debates on the role of the clergy in society. Indeed, they are not a mere reflection of the prevailing oral and written debates. In fact, such films are an important - if often overlooked - part of the larger discourse within Iranian society.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2007

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