Shooting the Isolation and Marginality of Masculinities in Iran

This paper will examine the isolation and marginality of Iranian men living in contemporary Iran. As a patriarchal society, Iran has been the focus of many studies on the subjugation and marginality of women. By studying recent Iranian art-house films, this paper argues that patriarchy does not simply isolate one particular gender within society. In its analyses, the paper will also make reference to earlier pre-Revolutionary art-house films to discuss the continuities and discontinuities in the constructions of masculinity in Iranian cinema. It will further demonstrate how recent Iranian films have skilfully used the cinematic language to narrate men’s stories of alienation and despair. Whilst some of these films focus on middle class men living in the midst of vibrant and crowded Tehran, others have turned their lens on the alienation and marginality of men on the fringes of society. These tales of alienation and despair provide a valuable and more complex insight into masculine identities of a patriarchal society that challenge the stereotypical images of men, than has been studied to date.