The American scholar stated, “The Iranian films that have been honored at Cannes and other film festivals are not chosen so much for their themes; as for the way those themes are realized in these films. The direction, the acting, the pacing, and the cinematography are all recognized by the film industry as great artistry. That is why they are honored.”
About the role of independent producers and directors to promote truth, peace, and reality via an independent film festival such as Resistance Film Festival, he noted, “Independent filmmakers have always been artists who have tried to promote social awareness of important cultural and political issues. The number of path-breaking films produced by the independent filmmaking community is extremely large.”
Replying to a query on the reasoning of Hollywood’s hatred towards Iranians and Muslims and the true way of reacting to Islamophobia and Iranophobia, Beeman said “It isn't just Iranians, of course, I recommend an excellent documentary, Valentino's Ghost, that documents in great detail the anti-Muslim images in American film. You can read about it here. You might try to show it in Iran. I think it would be received very well.”
Noting the absence of American traditional familial values in Hollywood, the scholar said, “Actually, American traditional family values have never disappeared from American films. But the construction of the American family has changed, or rather, the realization that the ideal structure of the American family never really existed. Families are extremely diverse, but the core of traditional values remain. Look at the number of films where the desire to protect one's family members is a strong motivating factor in the plot of even the most violent movies.”
Mentioning topics that American and European films don’t pay attention to, he highlighted prejudice against Muslims, the history of Islam and Islamic figures, Asian epics, and the lives of great non-Western scientists, among others.
Talking about the role of documentary cinema in the mentioned topics, Beeman said, “A documentary on things like the Iraq-Iran war could be very powerful. We've never seen a documentary film on the Mossadeq coup, on the pull-out of the British from the Persian Gulf, and so many other important periods of history.”
William Orman Beeman is an American scholar whose specialty is the Middle East. He is a professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, where he is Chair of the Department of Anthropology. For many years he was Professor of Anthropology, Theatre, Speech, and East Asian Studies at Brown University.
The first part of the 16th Resistance International Film Festival (RIFF), comprising Health Defenders and Festival of Festivals sections, wrapped up on September 27.
The next part, to be held on November 21-27, coinciding with “Basij” week, will include Main Competition section, Resistance Prominent Martyr - special section, Best Film Competition in Absolute Sense section, and Narrations of Pen - Scriptwriting Competition section.
The RIFF, one of the most prestigious international film festivals in Iran, is dedicated to productions on wars and the repercussions of armed conflicts in the world.
It also puts a spotlight on the resistance of the Palestinian people against the Zionist regime, Daesh and its terrorist attacks in the region, as well as the world’s tyrants and their backing of Daesh.