Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilAbstracta IranicaVolume 4413. Musique et Arts du spectacleMatthias Wittmann, Ute Holl (eds....

13. Musique et Arts du spectacle

Matthias Wittmann, Ute Holl (eds.). Counter-Memories in Iranian Cinema

Max Bledstein
Référence(s) :

Matthias Wittmann, Ute Holl (eds.). Counter-Memories in Iranian Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021, 259p. ISBN 978-1474479776

Texte intégral

1This book offers a valuable and diverse set of essays on Iranian cinema. The theme on which Wittmann and Holl base the collection facilitates the diversity: the contributors provide different perspectives on how Michel Foucault’s concept of “counter-memory” can be mobilized to understand the country’s films. Although the volume makes no attempt at a single argument, the chapters together demonstrate ways in which filmmaking in Iran has questioned and challenged cultural and political narratives. These demonstrations occur through a variety of methodological approaches, including close readings of individual films, historical studies of production and circulation, and reflections by filmmakers on their work. The films discussed also represent an extensive chronological scope, ranging from Ardeshir Irani’s The Lor Girl (Dokhtar-e Lor, 1934) to the work of contemporary filmmakers such as Mohammad Ali Ahangar (1962-). The chapters are presented in four sections organized around complementary thematic interests, grouped by common “axes, nodes, and questions” (7). Within each section, the contributions cover a vast array of approaches and subject matter, allowing for unexpected resonances between seemingly disparate material.

2The essays in these sections provide a welcome addition to scholarship on Iranian cinema. The organizing principle of counter-memory bears resemblance to the often-discussed theme of “resistance” in work on Iranian popular culture, though the novelty of the contributions and the theoretical engagement with Foucault throughout the volume give it more than enough to distinguish itself. Although pre-revolutionary cinema has begun to receive more scholarly attention recently, especially in books such as Golbarg Rekabtalaei’s Iranian Cosmopolitanism: A Cinematic History (2019) and Pedram Partovi’s Popular Iranian Cinema before the Revolution: Family and Nation in Fīlmfārsī (2017) (Partovi himself is a contributor here), post-revolutionary film continues to be represented far more widely in the literature, an imbalance Wittmann and Holl’s volume helps to ameliorate. The use of filmmakers as contributors is far too infrequent in film studies and an insightful aspect of the book, especially given the particularity of production conditions in Iran. I recommend it to students and scholars in film studies, especially those with interests in the cinema of the Middle East and North Africa.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Max Bledstein, « Matthias Wittmann, Ute Holl (eds.). Counter-Memories in Iranian Cinema »Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 44 | 2022, document 4, mis en ligne le 30 novembre 2022, consulté le 01 octobre 2023. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page


Max Bledstein

University of New South Wales, Australie

Comptes rendus du même rédacteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Le texte et les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés), sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search