Tehran vs. Tehrangeles: A Special Screening of Maxx
The cultural wars between Iran and its left coast diaspora have long been played out in the realms of cinema, television, and music—from pre-revolutionary films such as Mamal Amrikai to the lyrics of pop songs such as Sandy's Talagh. State television vs. satellite; aging divas vs. youthful rappers; parkour vs. the Shahs of Sunset: the Tehranis have historically portrayed the diasporic Iranian as effeminate, gaudy and morally loose, while the Tehrangelenos see the the Iranians as illiterate, perverted, obscurist bumpkins—that is, if they even acknowledge them at all! Maxx (Saman Moghadam, 2005) is an artifact from the Khatami-era of cross-cultural dialogue, where old stereotypes get some new clothes. The film was a domestic success in Iran, and one of the earlier instances of a non art-house film finding an audience within the diaspora. Can Tehran and Tehrangeles learn to love each other?
Post-screening discussion will be led Bidoun editors and accompanied by Armenian arak and ice cream generously provided by MILK.
Maxx, Saman Moghadam, 2005, 110min, in Persian with English subtitles
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