Representation of Female Occupations in Iranian Movies
Helen Hemati
Reprinted from: Honar Nameh, University of Art, Tehran, No. 12, Fall 2001 (A brief of the article)

Historians of Iranian movies have noted that the entrance of the movies in Iran faced to shortcomings: One was the absence of a social background and the other was the absence of any occupations for women. The two factors were doubtless interrelated.

Mozafarddin Shah imported movies in 1900, after he became familiar with the “Cinematograph” during a visit to France, accompanied by his court photographer, Ibrahim Khan Akas-bashi. The king brought the projector with him to Iran, to be used in his harem to entertain his intimates. Thus, the cinematograph became a means of royal entertainment in the harem.

The birth of movies in Iran had the reverse characteristic of its birth in Europe, where it was rooted among ordinary people and removed from the seats of power. For a long time, the movie was considered an aristocratic game and entertainment.

It was natural in these circumstances that women have no participation in it. Their social roles at the time were limited by prevalent social, economic and cultural conditions. They were by and large imprisoned in harems, and could only venture outside in cases of necessity, and only if accompanied by their men. Women were kept out of movies, because of their absence in the day’s current social situation.

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