Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Entertainment is the new propaganda...

...and the old propaganda...

Slightly Off Religious Path, Iranian TV Finds Viewers

They say the government appears to have realized that political programs, such as those showing confessions extracted from democracy advocates in prison, have not achieved its goal of building domestic unity at a time when the country is under intense international pressure for its nuclear program.

“They have learned that if they want their programs to be effective, they should send the message indirectly,” said Abol-Hassan Mokhtabad, a journalist and news media expert. He added that “it is very natural” that the government would “pursue its political goals through them, too.”

One popular mini-series, called “Zero Degree Turn,” depicts the Iranian Embassy in Paris during World War II, when employees forged Iranian passports for European Jews to flee to Iran. The series is built around a love story between an Iranian-Palestinian man and a Jewish Frenchwoman he helps escape to Iran.


saggezard said...

Saied Emami, the powerful SAVAMA intelligence boss and death squad leader in the late 1990's was very involved in the film industry and sponsored many of the top Iranian film makers to produce films. Many of these film makers were and are highly celebrated in the west for their artistic work, but there is no good western study of the films funded by Islamic Republic of Iran's ministry of Intelligence. The Iranian film industry has many jewels of propagandist film making, one early film was called "Sarbedaran" an elaborate historic epic shown mainly on TV which showed leftist sentiments. Later the war movies with martyrdom motif s prevailed. Another recent one other than "Zero Degree Turn" is called "Shabhaye Barareh" (شبهای برره)followed by Ekhrajeha a film with an idea that makes an inquiring mind sick to the stomach , but it turns out that it is the highest grossing film in Iranian film history.

Tori said...

I saw both Shabhaye Barareh and Ekhrajiha. It seems to me that Ekhrajiha grossed so much because it made fun of the moralistic revlutionary elite, not because of its other message: anyone can be a hero. Hey! Ho! Let's fight a war!

Shabhaye Barareh, how do you figure that was government propoganda? Because of the atomic peas?