Real men: Representations of masculinity in Iranian cinema | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710



The article examines different representations of masculinity in Iranian cinema, using Shahin Gerami’s essay ‘Mullahs, martyrs, and men: Conceptualizing masculinity in the Islamic Republic of Iran’ as the basis for its analysis. The article looks at examples of post-revolutionary Iranian cinema – in particular Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s Nargess (1992) and Kamal Tabrizi’s The Lizard (2002) – featuring male characters that can be considered in light of the masculine archetypes that Gerami identifies. This analysis is prefaced by a brief consideration of representations of masculinity in post-revolutionary Iranian cinema, in particular Masud Kimiai’s Dash Akol (1971) as an example of the luti or ‘tough guy’ genre. By considering these different representations of masculinity, the article aims to address the gender imbalance in recent studies of Iranian cinema, most of which focus predominantly or indeed exclusively on the representation of women, as well as challenge stereotypes of Iranian and/or Middle Eastern masculinity more generally.


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