Sunday, November 30, 2008

The image of Zionism in Iranian cinema

Here is an interesting article about Iranian cinema and Iranian critique of Hollywood cinema. Hollywood cinema is very popular in Iran. Here is a sample of the Iranian rant:  
An additional innovation in the Iranian attack on Zionism can be found in documentar series that focus on Jews and their control over the global film industry. A twenty-six episode documentary, "Footprints of Zionism in World Cinema," which aired during May-June 2008 on IRINN, seeks to expose the "true colors" of the global film industry. The series promotes the perception that the Western film industry - primarily Hollywood - is controlled by Zionists who strive to inculcate the viewers with Zionist subliminal messages. The creators of the series, with the aid of Iranian specialists who were interviewed, explained that these messages are meant to provide a basis for the State of Israel's legitimacy and to justify its "criminal" policies. They warn that these messages operate on the sub-conscious of the viewer, and that consequently the viewer is convinced of the veracity of the messages. To substantiate this thesis, the series' producers in Iran analyze a sequence of Western films of different genres and periods, including Ben-Hur (1959), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), La vita è bella (1997), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Meet the Parents (2000), Chicken Run (2000) and The Pianist (2002).

Against the backdrop of pictures from the successful British animation movie, Chicken Run (2000), the narrator explains that the images of the fenced farm along with other visual elements are meant to conjure associations of concentration camps, and that the longings of the caged chickens for a utopian place is a metaphor for the Zionist nationalist longings (MEMRI-TV, clip 1787). While discussing Fiddler on the Roof the Iranian experts in the series determined that the positive and sympathetic portrayal of the Jewish character in the film is meant to present to the viewers with a distorted picture of the reasons and the historical background surrounding Jewish migration to the land of Israel (MEMRI-TV, clip 1807).

We already know from other sources, that Iranian professors have decided that Mickey Mouse and Tom and Jerry as well as Pirates of the Carribean are part of a Jew-Zionist international conspiracy, gnawing away at the roots of Islam and endangering all right-thinking servants of the prophet (see Iran reveals Zionist plot behind Zionist Hollywood Happy Endings: Zionism is Mouse-ism ). This fetish is not confined to Iran. There was also a Saudi Fatwa calling upon the faithful to kill Mickey Mouse. Why is the Iranian regime going to such absurd lengths to discredit Hollywood? Is it because people are not interested in Iranian "official" documentaries about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the like? Is it because Hollywood represents "decadent" Western culture? Is it because they are cuckoo? Probably all of the above. 
Ami Isseroff

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