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How did Iranian cinema go global?

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22.03.2018

On Friday 16 March 2018, I had the distinct privilege of joining legendary Iranian filmmaker Amir Naderi and Dave Kehr, the curator at the Department of Film, on stage at Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York to launch a magnificent retrospective of his work.

Irresistible Forces, Immovable Objects: The Films of Amir Naderi begins with The Runner (1984), one of the last films he made in Iran and continues with the rest of his oeuvre that he directed in the US, Japan, and Europe.

This is not the first time the cinema of Naderi is celebrated in the US or anywhere else in the world. Over the last quarter century that I have known and been involved in his cinematic adventures, I have been a close witness to numerous similar celebrations in the US, Europe, and Japan, marking the unfolding thresholds of his unique and inimitable visionary artistry.

How has Naderi navigated his illustrious cinematic career from a pioneering filmmaker in the rising moments of Iranian New Wave in the late 1960s up to such career celebrations around the world is the story of how Iranian cinema has transcended itself to become an unfolding drama in the course of world cinema. Naderi, just like his close friend and fellow luminary, the late Abba Kiarostami (1940-2016) - whom the world of cinema lost so tragically early - is no longer pigeonholed within any national cinema. He has, by the power of his singular imagination, assumed his unique signature.

How did that happen and what does it mean?

I was born to the world of cinema with the cinema of Naderi (born in Abadan in southern Iran, 1946). Though he is not much older than I am, he was already an accomplished and widely loved and admired filmmaker upon........

© Al Jazeera