Shooting the isolation and marginality of masculinities in Iranian cinema

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This article examines the isolation and marginality of Iranian men living in contemporary Iran with a focus on three post-2005 films. As a patriarchal society, Iran has been the subject of many studies on the subjugation and marginality of women. This study demonstrates how recent Iranian films have skillfully employed the cinematic language to narrate men’s stories of alienation and despair. These filmic constructions provide a valuable and complex insight into masculine identities, challenging perceptions of the essentialized image of the Middle Eastern male. By employing Connell’s hierarchy of masculinities, the article demonstrates the position of marginalized men in relation to the dominant ideals of masculinity and the influence of these discourses on the lives of such men. The films discussed here do not perpetuate the construction of the ‘true’ gender, but instead challenge ideas of heroism, manliness and patriarchy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-967
JournalIranian studies
Issue number6
Early online date22 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017


  • masculinities
  • cinema
  • Iran
  • marginal


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