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  • Ghorbankarimi_REVISED_-_Refocus_-_Banietemad_

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Refocus: Films of Rakhshan Banietemad

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook



ReFocus: The Films of Rakhshan Banietemad is the first book-length study of this prominent Iranian director in English, there are two books in Persian but both were written in early 2000s missing some of her most acclaimed feature films and her documentary films. Benietemad is one of the first female Iranian directors, with a career spanning over 40 years. Besides leaving a rich legacy through both her documentaries and fiction films, she has been an influential figure in the Iranian film industry. This is evident especially in her role in establishing and collaboration with ‘Karestan’, an independent documentary filmmaking initiative focusing on producing documentary films on Iranian entrepreneurs.

Along with other female pioneers such as Pouran Derakhshandeh and Tahmineh Milani, Rakhshan Banietemad not only paved the way for women to enter the film industry in Iran, she has also helped transform the representation of women in Iranian films at large. Incorporating stories from her research and documentary films into her fiction films has resulted in some of the best female-centric social realist films coming out of Iran, such as Nargess (1991) and The Blue Veiled (1995) and Tales (2014). Although Banietemad and her films have been the subject of much scholarly writing, there are still plenty aspects of her films that are overlooked in the scholarship. Essentially this book aims to offer an auteurist study of her oeuvre by the way of various methodologies such as close reading, textual analysis and employing different theoretical frameworks while introducing some of her lesser known films to the scholarship. As such, this volume will offer a new, comprehensive and cohesive study of her work.