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PetroCinema in Iran: The Three Waves

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PetroCinema in Iran: The Three Waves

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Cinema Iranica (April 21, 2024) PetroCinema in Iran: The Three Waves. Retrieved from https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/petrocinema-in-iran-the-waves/.
"PetroCinema in Iran: The Three Waves." Cinema Iranica - April 21, 2024, https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/petrocinema-in-iran-the-waves/
Cinema Iranica December 4, 2023 PetroCinema in Iran: The Three Waves., viewed April 21, 2024,<https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/petrocinema-in-iran-the-waves/>
"PetroCinema in Iran: The Three Waves." Cinema Iranica - Accessed April 21, 2024. https://cinema.iranicaonline.org/article/petrocinema-in-iran-the-waves/

Cinematography emerged in Iran when the first oil well was discovered in the early twentieth century. PetroCinema in the country, characterized by three waves since its inception, has significantly influenced the trajectory of the nation’s cinematic landscape. In the first wave, spanning from the D’Arcy Concession of 1901 to the Coup d’etat of 1953,  Persian Story emerged as the inaugural oil film in Iran. This cinematic endeavor, primarily controlled by the royal family, serves as a pivotal case study illustrating the politicization of PetroCinema and contributing to discourses on modernity. However, it predominantly reflected establishment perspectives rather than addressing societal issues. The period from 1937 to 1948 witnessed over a decade of stagnation in the history of Iranian national cinema. In the second wave, from the Coup d’etat of 1953 to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, PetroCinema resonated with socio-political uprisings and nationalist sentiments influenced by oil nationalization. The years between 1958 and 1979 marked a turning point in this wave, as intellectual filmmakers grappled with the oppressive political environment following the coup. Ebrahim Golestan, a key figure in the second wave of PetroCinema, left an indelible mark through documentaries and films produced for oil companies in the 1950s and 1960s portraying Iran’s progress through petroleum. In contrast to pre-revolutionary PetroCinema, which exhibited an inward focus on issues such as nationalization of the oil industry, the coup, and consortium, the third wave of PetroCinema beginning after the 1979 Revolution predominantly adopted an outward-looking approach. This shift was overshadowed by ultra-nationalist political developments including the eight-year war, sanctions, and anti-American foreign policies. 

In contrast to the pre-revolutionary PetroCinema, which exhibited an inward focus on issues such as nationalization of the oil industry, coup, and consortium, the post-revolutionary PetroCinema, representing the third wave, predominantly adopted an outward-looking approach. This shift was overshadowed by ultra-national political developments, including the eight-year war, sanctions, and anti-American foreign policies.