Persons of Interest

by Louise Cainkar
published in MER236

Persons of Interest (Allison Maclean and Tobias Perse). New York: First Run/ Icarus Films, 2004.

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Iranian Cinema

Art, Society and the State

by Ziba Mir-Hosseini
published in MER219

Following the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the inauguration of the Islamic Republic, many predicted that new restrictions would kill off Iran's cinema. But Iranian film has survived, undergoing remarkable transformations in parallel with the wider changes in Iranian culture and society. Today, Iranian cinema is recognized as one of the most innovative and exciting in the world, and films from Iranian directors are being screened to increasing acclaim at international festivals. The key to resolving the apparent contradiction between Iran's repressive image and the renaissance of Iranian cinema is to understand the relationship that developed between art, society and the state after the Islamic revolution.

Iranian Documentary Cinemas between Reality and Fiction

by Persheng Vaziri
published in MER225

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Spatial Fantasies

Israeli Popular Culture After Oslo

by Rebecca L. Stein
published in MER216

Rivka, the tragic protagonist of Amos Gitai's new film Kadosh, is unable to conceive a child. Her anxiety is acute. The ultra-Orthodox community of Me'ah She'arim in West Jerusalem, in which Rivka lives with her husband Meir, is known to ostracize its barren women. Seeking spiritual guidance, she leaves their home one evening to pray. The camera follows Rivka as she walks through the darkened streets of Me'ah She'arim, then cuts to her arrival in the spacious, well-lit courtyard of the Western Wall. Hands pressed against the stones, she seeks salvation.

Interventions

Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

The Race Is On

Muslims and Arabs in the American Imagination

by Moustafa Bayoumi | published March 2010

“We are so racially profiled now, as a group,” the Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah says in his routine, “that I heard a correspondent on CNN not too long ago say the expression, ‘Arabs are the new blacks.’ That Arabs are the new blacks.” Obeidallah continues: