Composed of a series of diverse, and often contradictory images of mundane rituals of everyday life juxtaposed against historical footage of protest and revolution in Iran, Thierry Michel’s Iran Veiled Appearances is a compelling and insightful documentary on life in modern-day Iran 23 years after the Islamic Revolution. The film opens to the disturbing image of a funeral ceremony for poet, writer, and free expression activist, Mohammed Mokhtari, who is subsequently revealed to have been the latest in an ever-growing series of mysterious disappearances and deaths of prominent and outspoken intellectuals, presumably assassinated by the Islamic militia. Michel presents two images of Iran: the first, traditionalist and passionately committed to the ideas of martyrdom for the Revolution and allegiance to their religious Guides (often espoused by the older generation); the second, increasingly modern, free thinking, and ambivalent over the direction of the country’s future. By illustrating the generational and ideological division inherent in the theocratic society of contemporary Iran, Iran Veiled Appearances becomes an understatedly powerful document of a country at the cusp of profound change.
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