Episode 7: Underground Cinema in Contemporary Iran
In the seventh episode of Siamak Pourzand Foundation’s People of the Underground podcast series, a film director in Iran speaks about underground cinema in free societies, as well as closer environments such as Iran. According to him, in free societies underground cinema serves as the “third eye” of the society, while also challenging mainstream cinema. In surveilled and censored environments such as Iran underground cinema inevitably challenges the government, and is presumptuously labeled as opposition. He also highlights the role of technology and cyber spaces as a phenomenon that has empowered underground cinema against state censorship. In his opinion, ever since the Green Movement of 2009, in particular, underground cinema has become a necessity in Iran. He also emphasizes on the importance of form beyond only content in underground arts, and in particular underground cinema. He concludes by warning against the recent officials’ tactical attempts to contain underground arts by giving it a management structure to alter the content and form and to minimize its authenticity, and therefore undermining its purpose and power, without necessarily eliminating it altogether.