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Must see TV? Iran shoots film on IS

Iran's movie on the Islamic State, and other recent government-funded film productions, mark a return to the type of war-era films made in the 1980s.
Actress Anke Engelke (R) and Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick look at the picture of Iranian director Jafar Panahi during the opening gala of the 61st Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 10, 2011. The Berlinale International Film Festival runs from February 10 to 20, 2011.    REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (GERMANY  - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)   - RTXXPE1

Soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini gave an interview in the French newspaper Le Monde during which he said, “We are not against cinema, we are against prostitution.” His pronouncement meant that the newly found Islamic Republic of Iran was not opposed to cinema in general, only certain types of films.

After the Iran-Iraq War began in 1980, a wartime cinema developed as part of a series of cultural activities to encourage people to participate in the war effort. During the first few years of the conflict, Mohammad Khatami, who would become president in 1997, worked for a time at the War Information Press (which provided funds for films about the war). Filmmakers involved in this new cinema were fully supported by the government, from the production process through distribution.

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