Children in post-Revolutionary Iranian cinema : visions of the future
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This project focuses on children in Iranian cinema in the Islamic Republic era in order to examine how child characters reveal visions of their future in Iran. This analysis will help the reader understand how privilege functions in relation to citizenship in Iran. Prior research argues that children in Iranian cinema represent humanist themes and utopic images of Iranian society. My thesis builds on this work to argue that images of the child represent more nuanced imaginings of the future, dependent on their ability to confront problems successfully. This study does not consider children's films, but rather films with prominent child characters. It looks at child characters both as agents whose desires and anxieties drive the film's action and as objects with whom the audience can visualize the future. This project includes Children of Heaven (Bachcheh-hā-ye āsemān), The Mirror (Āineh), Where is the Friend's Home (Khāne-ye dust kojāst), Bashu, the Little Stranger (Bāshu gharibe-ye kuchek), Baran (Bārān), The Apple (Sib), Life, and Nothing More (Zandegi va digar hich), The White Balloon (Bādkonak-e sefid), and The Day I Became a Woman (Ruzi ke zan shodam). My thesis argues that the ways in which child characters interact with their environment highlight their level of privilege, revealing what types of individuals are best fit to thrive in Iranian society under the Islamic Republic. I argue that notions of citizenship and nationalism are integral to the characters' identities and indicated futures. Specifically, both ideal children and non-ideal children who maintain Iranian citizenship will have successful futures as participants in Iranian society, while non-Iranian nationals may not.