COVID-19 returns long-banned drive-in movies to Iran


PTI, May 5, 2020, 2:01 PM IST

Tehran: The new coronavirus pandemic has brought back something unseen in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution: a drive-in movie theater.

Once decried by revolutionaries for allowing too much privacy for unmarried young couples, a drive-in theater now operates from a parking lot right under Tehran’s iconic Milad tower, showing a film in line with the views of hard-liners.

Workers spray disinfectants on cars that line up each night here after buying tickets online for what is called the Cinema Machine in Farsi. They tune into the film’s audio via an FM station on their car radios.

With stadiums shut and movie theaters closed, this parking-lot screening is the only film being shown in a communal setting amid the virus outbreak in Iran, one of the world’s worst. Iran has reported more than 98,600 cases with over 6,200 deaths, though international and local experts acknowledge Iran’s toll is likely far higher.

It was very fascinating, this is the first time this is happening, at least for people my age,” said Behrouz Pournezam, 36, who watched the film along with his wife.

We are here mostly for the excitement, to be honest, the movie itself didn’t matter that much. I didn’t care what movie it is or by whom or which genre.

The film being shown, however, is Exodus, produced by a firm affiliated with Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guard.

The film by director Ebrahim Hatamikia focuses on cotton farmers whose fields die from saltwater brought by local dams.

The farmers, led by an actor who appears to be the Islamic Republic’s answer to American cowboy stand-in Sam Elliott, drive their tractors to Tehran to protest the government.

There is precedent for this anger. Iran had built dams across the country since the revolution especially under hard-line former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that environmentalists blame for damaging waterways and farmland.

“But this film instead involves a peasant protest against the local authority that symbolically resembles President Hassan Rouhani’s government,” the state-owned Tehran Times said.

Rouhani, a relative moderate in Iran’s Shiite theocracy, has increasingly faced hard-line criticism amid the collapse of his nuclear deal with world powers. Those allied with his administration have criticized the film.

Moviegoer Atefeh Soheili, however, was glad just to enjoy entertainment outside of her home.

“Now I’m sitting here with clean hands and if I want to eat something or relax I don’t need to worry about the distancing from other people,” she said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Mumbai: FIR against Google CEO, others in copyright `violation’ case

NIA files charge sheet against two for blast by CPI (Maoists) in Jharkhand

Hijab row: Not going to budge from our stand under any circumstance, says MLA Raghupati Bhat

Multi-floor structure collapses in Mumbai; 6 rescued

Should handle COVID-19 third wave with ‘total seriousness’: Thaawar Chand Gehlot

No one can do anything without JD(S) after 2023 K’taka Assembly poll: H D Kumaraswamy

Andhra Pradesh to get 13 more new districts


Related Articles More

Puneeth Rajkumar’s last film ‘James’ unveils first look of Kannada star

Picasso heirs launch digital art piece to ride ‘crypto’ wave

Consulting with dwarfism community: Disney after Peter Dinklage slams studio for ‘Snow White’ remake

Steve Carell, John Krasinski to reunite for Paramount’s film ‘If’

Yuvraj Singh, Hazel Keech blessed with baby boy

MUST WATCH

Rajpath witnesses splendid fly-past of 75 aircrafts

Mysore student led NCC at the Republic Day 2022 Parade held in Delhi

NEWS BULLETIN 26-02-2022

Stunning motorcycle display by BSF all-women biker team at India’s 73 Republic Day parade

Siddaramaiah Talk’s About Election


Latest Additions

Mumbai: FIR against Google CEO, others in copyright `violation’ case

NIA files charge sheet against two for blast by CPI (Maoists) in Jharkhand

Hijab row: Not going to budge from our stand under any circumstance, says MLA Raghupati Bhat

Hassan: Upper caste people order Dalits not to be part of religious ceremony

Multi-floor structure collapses in Mumbai; 6 rescued

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.