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The Representation of Social Classes in Iranian Cinema During the Reformist Era, 2001–2005

Ehsan Aqababaee and Katja Rieck


This article discusses how social class was depicted in Iranian cinema during the Reformist Era between 2001 and 2005 when the government of Mohammad Khatami advocated economic reforms and cultural liberalization. The agenda of the Khatami government was supported by the middle and upper classes who had modernist cultural attitudes and benefitted from these political and economic reforms. The articles also analyzes how reformist ideology operated through films by presenting a positive image of the modernist middle and upper classes while challenging the values of the traditional classes and portraying the lower class as victims of social problems. The findings indicate that the reformists, contrary to their slogans, sought to normalize the values of their supporter classes in Iranian cinema.

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pp. 106–125