Ronak Karami


The 1979 Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War that began in 1980 have played an effective role in reconstructing contemporary Iranian culture, history, and politics. The war was beneficial to Ayatollah Khomeini and his new regime in defining themselves and their ideas and suppressing opposition, so he refused to end the war for eight years until 1988. However, by the end of the war, neither Iran nor Iraq had achieved their aims: Iraq's attempts to bring down the revolutionary government in Iran failed, and Iran could not provoke a revolution in Iraq. The Islamic Revolution and the war imposed new kinds of restrictions on women in all social domains, including cinema. Since the new regime regarded women as the ones to blame for the corruptions of the Pahlavi era, they censored women's bodies and intimacy between women and men. Additionally, revolutionary ideological codes shaped gender representations in media and close-up shots of females were banned in the cinema. This article focuses on a well-known live-action puppet movie for children, The City of Mice (1985), and its sequel, which were directed by a female Iranian director, Marzieh Boroumand. It aims first to depict the way The City of Mice represents gender to its audience (mainly children) based on socially-constructed notions of gender within Islamic discourse and Islamic ideology during the Iran-Iraq War in Iran, and second, to study the way gender practice changed thirty years later within The City of Mice 2 (2014). To do so, the essay provides a brief introduction and a summary of both movies' stories, then analyzes the costumes, characters, actions, dialogue, objects, and camera work to respond to the statement of the problem.

Author Biography

Ronak Karami is an Iranian researcher who is interested in women and gender studies. She received her B.A in English Literature from university of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran. She had started her postgraduate study right after with the Science and Research faculty, Tehran, Iran; however, she withdrew as a result Iran's educational system deficiency; more is explained in her autobiographical essay in this issue of the JIWS.