City, Modernity, Cinema Exploring the Works of Ibrahim Golestan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, School of Urban Planning, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Master of Urban Planning, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Between 1941 to 1979 the modern city has been formed. Urban plans are initiated in this period by the establishment of Planning Organization in 1948. Based on such plans, the city experiences a huge expansion. Modern cities like Tehran became the best place to fulfill the aspirations of the residents of the surrounding towns and villages with job opportunities and better living conditions. As the result, population of such cities increases. The new city turns to be a metropolis that is strange for the inhabitants which includes wide range of new social players such as: women, intellectuals and youth. City and municipal new subject experience is the main theme of many novels and films in this period. The author sometimes describes the city himself and sometimes describes it from the others’ views. Ibrahim Golestan is one of the modern authors during the period 1941 to 1978. He began his career in writing in 1941 and then established Golestan Film studio and started to produce films. He made several documentaries and two films. The documentaries were mostly made by the proposition of oil consortium. Therefore, they portray how oil industry influenced southern cities form and residents’ way of life. His two films theme is about how modernization affected people’s life. How money rules in the modern city and how human relationships are affected by money in modern era.  He focused on objective and subjective experiences of individuals in the metropolises in his novels and films. The main theme of his stories is the paradox of a society in transition to modernity; the conflict between the old and the new, the rural areas and the city..... The research method in this paper is a heuristic approach, based on the works of Ibrahim Golestan. According to the journal rules for the pages of the essay, there were not enough places to explain and analyze all of Golestan works. Therefore, just specific films and novels has been analyzed. In this essay , Pahlavi era has been divided in to three parts, first, years between 1941-1954,in these years city is the place for riots  which mostly occurred due to workers’ poor condition of life, The second part is years between1954-1967  which  Tehran turned to be a consumer city. Finally, years between1967-1979, in this era, Tehran has became a huge city far from its traditional form and strange to the residents.  Research results, present clear picture of the evolution of cities and urban subjects during the period 1941 to 1978 according to Golestan’s point of view. Results have shown that Golestan believes in modernity and modernization but not an autocratic modernization. He believes that a society will not be modern unless the all peoples way of thinking change, every people must want to be modern, under these conditions a society can be named a modern society