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Tahmīnah Mīlānī

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Tahmīnah Mīlānī

Tahmīnah Mīlānī is one of Iran’s most prominent female filmmakers, working primarily in the genres of melodrama and comedy. Mīlānī’s directing career has produced award-winning films such as Daw zan(Two Women; 1999), Vakunish-i panjam (The Fifth Reaction; 2003), and Zani ziyādī (The Unwanted Woman; 2005). Her films often focus on cultural and social issues, including women’s rights and the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Her melodramas usually deal with the social problems faced by women and youth, and due to the limitations on media activities and freedom of expression in Iranian society, they are welcomed by the middle class and this ensures the commercial success of her films. Mīlānī has stated that one of the most important issues in Iran is the inability to express one’s true personality, claiming that Iranians lead double lives. Mīlānī is frequently described as a “feminist,” especially for her Firishtah Trilogy: Daw zan (1999), Nīmahyi pinhān (The Hidden Half; 2001), and Vakunish-i panjam (2003), in which she employs melodrama as a practical strategy to examine the impact of public events on the private lives of Iranian women. In Iran, where films are subject to severe censorship, melodrama serves as an important vehicle for expressing implicitly what cannot be said explicitly within the limits of state-controlled discourse. Through melodrama, Mīlānī effectively reveals the underlying social, political, and cultural causes of women’s oppression, and in doing so brings the “hidden halves” of women’s livestheir experiences and emotionsinto the public sphere, making them knowable and familiar.