Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

IMES Seminar series: Maryam Ghorbankarimi

About the seminar

'The Art of Social Realism in Rakhshan Banietemad’s Films'.  

By Maryam Ghorbankarimi...

Rakhshan Banietemad is an auteur Iranian director through the unique social realism she has developed in her films. While dealing with the harsh social realities of her subjects in the present day Iran, her films also offer a level of entertainment. Social realist films normally do not incorporate melodramatic narrative devices and employ stars, while they represent true to life characters and locations. Her socially critical films are also popular which one can argue is the result of casting well-known actors in addition to depicting tangible themes that speaks to the public. She combines her access and knowledge obtained through her research and documentary films to create a believable ‘realistic’ setting for her fictional films. Looking at her documentary body of work, Banietemad has been an artist in constant search for her next topic and has patiently developed her next feature film inspired by her documentaries. Although her auteurship is evident in her films through recurring links and themes, it is through her documentaries that we really see her critical and clever approach at work.

This paper will look at some of her lesser-known documentary works that Maryam Ghorbankarimi believes are the source and drive of her unique style of filmmaking. This paper will focus on her films Centralization (1986), To whom do you show these films? (1993), Under the Skin of this City (Documentary, 1996), Our Times (2002), We are half of Iran’s Population (2009), Mahak my Home (2014) to name a few.

About the speaker

Maryam Ghorbankarimi is a filmmaker and film scholar. Born and raised in Tehran, Maryam Ghorbankarimi moved to Canada in 2001 to continue her education in film at Toronto’s Ryerson University. She holds a BFA, MA and completed her PhD in film studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and her dissertation was published as a book entitled A Colourful Presence; The Evolution of Women’s Representation in Iranian Cinema in 2015.

About the seminar series

Each semester, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) welcomes a fantastic range of guest speakers and colleagues to present an evening seminar on their research.

IMES is internationally recognised as a leading institution for research on the languages, history, culture, religion and politics of the Middle East and the wider Islamic world, and its Research Seminar Series is now an established feature in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) events calendar.

Entry is free and no booking is required. Everyone is welcome.

Are you interested in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh?

We are the only university in Scotland to offer courses in the Muslim world's three main languages, placing Arabic, Persian and Turkish in the context of history, literature, culture, religion and politics, past and present. Choose from a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including PhD programmes.

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Nov 11 2019 -

IMES Seminar series: Maryam Ghorbankarimi

'The Art of Social Realism in Rakhshan Banietemad’s Films'. A free seminar by guest speaker Maryam Ghorbankarimi (University of Lancaster).

Room G.02
19 George Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9LD