Penang (Malaysia) 1997

  • Jan Uhde


PENANG'S 1st EAST ASIA FILM AND TELEVISION FESTIVAL LIKE the Hong Kong film industry, Iran has already had fifty years of filmmaking, amounting to the production of 1,200 films in that time. Few national cinemas have had to go through the changes and pressures that Iranian filmmaking has been subjected to from the Shah era of the 1970s to the tumultuous revolutionary days of the Ayatollah Khomeini to the recent creative years. In fact as early as 1989, the Hong Kong International Film Festival was showing Iranian features like Mohsen Makhmalbaf's The Peddlar and Dariush Farhang's The Spell. Despite their difficulties, Iranian filmmakers have tenaciously held on to their art. This year, with much persistence, they have shown to the world that their cinema is more than children's films or propaganda. Even before Abbas Kiarostami's The Taste of Cherry (Ta'm-e Gilass) shared this May's Cannes Palme d'Or with The...