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The 15 Best Iranian Movies of All Time Iranian Cinema is a rich and diverse cinema that has been in existence since the 1930s amidst oppressive regimes, censorship and even in the face of exile. The history of film as an art form in Iran dates back to the pioneering days of cinema when the first movie theatre opened in Tehran in 1904. Film was less than ten years old at the time and many Iranians flocked to cinemas to watch these primitive masterpieces. However, it would be another 25 years before Iran would develop its own national cinema, a cinema of morality, humanity, abandon and integrity. Starting with the opening of the first film school in 1925, an Iranian national cinema quickly began to develop. Since then, cinema has served as an ambassador for Iran, the heart and soul of a country marred by years of instability. As a result Iranian national cinema has become an engaging, chaotic, soulful and poignant cinema. It remains a true testament to the resilience and industrious nature of the Iranian people and serves as a veracious voice through which Iran can tells its varied and compelling stories. This is a list of the 15 essential Iranian films of all time.
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This 1989 movie is made by the great Iranian director, Bahram Beizai. Some of the best actors of the time act in this movie such as Susan Taslimi, who is acting and directing in Sweden nowadays. Bahram Beizai uses some contrasts such as North and South, black and white, and dialectical differences. The director criticizes ethnocentric Persian nationalism while marking the tense relationship between nationalism and ethnicity. It is worth mentioning that Bashu was the first Iranian movie to use the northern language of Iran, Gilaki. What is more interesting is that all the actors were northern and they were all fluent in speaking “Gilaki”. 2. The Scent of Joseph’s Shirt (Booye Pirahane Yousef) Ghafoor is a Taxi Driver whose son was allegedly martyred during the war but he wouldn’t believe it. Although all the evidence shows that his son is dead and everyone believes so, he is still waiting for his beloved son, Yousef (Joseph). Then one day at the airport Ghafoor encounters a strange woman Shirin, who has travelled from Europe to Iran looking for his brother, Khosrow, a missing soldier at war. Both start searching for their loved ones. 95% of the film takes place at night to show the claustrophobia of prisoners of war. The ugliness of, war, the pain of loss, and waiting for someone is shown in the most magnificent way in this movie with a piece of elegant music composed by Majid Entezami which turned into a masterpiece and a memorable soundtrack for Iranians. 3. Sperm Whale (Nahang-e Anbar) is A nice, smooth, and hilarious comedy directed by Saman Moghadam in 2015. It starts with the life story of Arjang, who was born in the 60s. From his childhood days, he is in love with his friend Roya, who is a girl desperately trying to climb up the social ladder each day of her life. You will dive into the life of Arjang and all the incidents that happen to him as he is madly in love with Roya. Iran is very open to comedy. The number that shows the sale of the movie in the cinema is proof of this fact. Iranian’s watched this movie over and over again in the theatre’s cause it was pure comedy. You can laugh, you can feel pity for the protagonist of the film, played by Reza Attaran, one of the most famous comedians, and the other glamorous performances by Mahnaz Afshar and Vishka Asayesh. Another thing that makes the movie worth watching is the lifestyle alternation that you get to see during the movie. It somehow shows the history of Iran from the time of Shah, until the present era. Sperm Whale is a comedy that you shouldn’t miss watching. Grant yourself some laughs by watching this hilarious must-see movie. 4. Ice Age (Asr-e Yakhbandan) The Ice Age movie was made in 2015 and it caught a lot of attention among regular people and critics. This drama movie goes through the life of Babak and Monireh. The difficult social situation causes Babak to work a lot and his not being present at home causes a deep gap between him and his wife. Therefore, Monireh gets involved in another relationship which leads her to drug addiction and wickedness. The movie is taboo-breaking in Iran since it shows women using drugs. Besides, it shows a woman’s affair which is unexpected to be shown in Iranian movies.