Iranian sacred defence cinema: Religion, Martyrdom and National Identity
by Pedram Khosronejad
While the cinema of post-revolutionary Iran is internationally acknowledged, the world outside Iran has been ignorant of the Iranian war films that are the subject of this pioneering book. A massive production of over 50 Iranian feature films concentrating primarily on fighting and military operations have appeared since the 1980s with the beginning of the war between Iran and Iraq. This book presents a detailed exploration of the “Sacred Defence Cinema”, established by Seyed Morteza Avini, a cinema that directly connects this specific war to the faith and religious belief of volunteer guardians of the revolution. The main objective of “Sacred Defence Cinema” is martrydom. As the distinguished film scholar, Hamid Dabashi writes in his Introduction to the book: ‘If national cinemas are predicated on national traumas, in the volume that Pedram Khosronejad has put together we are at the heart of the heart of Iranian cinema’.