The Islamic Apocalypse

Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Moment of Innocence
  • Lloyd Ridgeon
Part of the Religion/Culture/Critique book series (RCCR)


In 1994 the Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf placed an advertisement in a Tehran newspaper announcing that he would be holding auditions for the casting of his next film in a local park. Makhmalbaf was visibly shocked to see about 5,000 young Iranians turn up, the significance of which extended beyond the number of hopefuls, for as he himself stated, it was the one-hundredth anniversary of cinema in Iran.1 Iranian cinema has a long pedigree, but the early modern era (1960s-78) was largely dominated by the Filmfarsi genre, which has been described as “inane” and “commercial” and which included popular music and dance, comedies, and tough-guy movies.2 During this period Egyptian and Indian melodramas and song and dance films were screened regularly, and their success encouraged the production of similar indigenous productions, casting singing stars (such as Googoosh, the Iranian “pop diva”) in leading roles.


Young Girl Popular Music Islamic Community Female Accomplice Islamic Revolution 
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  1. 3.
    See Hamid Naficy, “Islamizing Film Culture in Iran,” in Iran: Political Culture in the Islamic Republic Samih Farsoun and Mehred Mashayekhi, eds. (London: Routledge, 1992), 190–91.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Norman O. Brown, Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 88.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    See Moojan Momen, An Introduction to Shi’i Islam (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), 167.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    On this topic see Said Amir Arjomand, “Islamic Apocalypticism in the Classic Period,” in The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism vol. 2, Bernard McGinn, ed., (New York: Continuum, 1998), 238–283.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    See Lloyd Ridgeon, Persian Metaphysics and Mysticism (Richmond: Curzon Press, 2002), 83.Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    See Abbas Ammanat, “The Resurgence of Apocalyptic in Modern Islam,” in The Encyclopedia of Apocalyticism vol. 3, Stephen J. Stein, ed. (New York: Continuum, 1998), 253–4.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    See Hamid Dabashi, Close Up (London: Verso, 2001), 211.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© S. Brent Plate 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lloyd Ridgeon

There are no affiliations available

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