Presentation of Female Character Subjectification in Iranian Cinema

Presentation of Female Character Subjectification in Iranian Cinema

Dilek Ulusal (Kırıkkale University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0128-3.ch014

Abstract

Cinema is a social practice where myths about femininity and masculinity are produced, reproduced, and represented. Within this context, in cinema which produces feminine myths and forms female representations by reproducing them, feminist narratives are incontrovertible. In this study, female characters in political woman theme film Ten, directed in 2002 by Abbas Kiarostami who is recognized as one of the most successful directors of Modern Iranian Cinema, are examined in terms of feminist film theory. As a result of the study, it was observed that the director Kiarostami uplifted the identity of women by the narrative of the female characters he placed in the subject position of the film and tried to overthrow the established perception towards the women who were qualified as “the other” in Iranian society, through cinema.
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Gender And Potency Relationship

The concept of gender includes social and cultural norms that are determined and imposed by society in relation to masculinity and femininity. The reflection of this concept in society constitutes the roles assigned to men and women in that society (Yılmaz, 2007: 1). The role indicates the position of the person in the organized social structures, the responsibilities related to this position, the privileges and the rules that direct the interaction with people in other positions. Different roles given to women and men by society as; mother, father, teacher, soldier, are known as gender roles. Women and men are expected to maintain their lives by adhering to these rules determined by society (Dökmen, 2004: 16).

According to Connell (1998: 56), the notion of a socially crafted, previously learned scenario that was previously prepared for individual behavior could easily be adapted to gender. Connell supported that terms like “gender role”, “men role” and “women role” became widespread in 1940s and starting from 1940s, gender role got into the central category of academic thinking and gender differences were listed under the title of “role” in literature. The most important names working on sexist roles in these years are the American Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead, the American sociologist Talcott Parsons and the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Parsons has developed a functional theory of gender roles and the cultural contradictions surrounding them. Mead, on the other hand, was concerned with the emotional appearance of culture as a whole, and thus documented the ways in which different cultures approached sex and gender. But de Beauvoir, based the emergence of social roles on power. Thus, whereas Mead and Parsons shaped the gender role around tradition and communal stability view, de Beauvoir shaped that as ruling over women (Connell, 1998: 57-58).

Key Terms in this Chapter

New Realistic Cinema: It is the cinema movement that emerged in Italy after World War II and pioneered the New Wave French Cinema. In New Realistic Cinema, social realistic issues are discussed as it has been in New Wave French Cinema.

New Wave Cinema: It is a cinema movement that emerged in 1950s in France and which was held up as an example by other countries' cinemas. The most important feature of this movement is that it shoots documentary-style films by taking social realistic issues in cinema.

Feminist Film Theory: It is a research method which focuses on inequality of women and men in the films and focuses on feminine discourse.

Semiotic Film Theory: It is the theory that analyzes the implicit meanings imposed on the visual materials used in cinema, which builds its narrative on visuality.

Gender: It is the social structure that determines the expectations, values, images, behaviors, roles, beliefs of men and women in a society.

Main Stream Cinema: Films that the cinema industry invests in and are shot for commercial purposes and appealing to all kinds of audiences. Popular topics are processed in main stream cinema. Its purpose is to achieve success at the box office and to provide the desired revenue from the films it offered as products.

Myth (Mythology): It is a folk story with an imaginative, allegorical narrative of gods, goddesses, the birth of the universe, spreading from generation to generation and transforming in time through the imagination of society. And another meaning is a person or an idealistic concept that has become a legend. The Feminine Myth is the set of roles assigned to the women in a society and made traditional in that society.

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