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Cult for Context: The Curious Case of Mārmulak

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Cult for Context: The Curious Case of Mārmulak

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Cinema Iranica (April 24, 2024) Cult for Context: The Curious Case of Mārmulak. Retrieved from https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/marmulak/.
"Cult for Context: The Curious Case of Mārmulak." Cinema Iranica - April 24, 2024, https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/marmulak/
Cinema Iranica December 3, 2023 Cult for Context: The Curious Case of Mārmulak., viewed April 24, 2024,<https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/marmulak/>
"Cult for Context: The Curious Case of Mārmulak." Cinema Iranica - Accessed April 24, 2024. https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/marmulak/

Made in 2003, screened for four weeks in 2004, banned until 2020, and meanwhile remaining an adored object of Iranians inside and outside the country, Kamal Tabrizi’s Mārmulak (The Lizard) is an excellent example of a cultification process due to its sociopolitical context of production, distribution, and reception. Mārmulak was made and released at a time when tensions were high between the reformist government of President Mohammad Khatami and the conservative factions of the Islamic ruling system in Iran. As the first post-revolutionary comedy addressing the dress code of the Shi’i clerics, this film is a collage of intertextual archetypes with ambiguous meanings that lend it well to conservative, reformist, anti-clerical, or even transcendental readings. Studying the simultaneously transgressive and recuperative effect of this film throughout its reception trajectory helps us better understand the underlying mechanism and implications of an Iranian cult film.