Iranian cinema is one of the very few in the Muslim world to have employed this new medium in imagining and narrating stories of religious figures. The representation of religious figures in Islam has become particularly controversial in recent years. Therefore, it turned into a highly sensitive undertaking. In this talk I examine the complex socio-political context of Iran to study late emergence of the epic genre in Iranian cinema. In doing so I study the recent creation and development of ‘Qur’anic Films’ within Iranian cinema with specific reference to Kingdom of Solomon (Mulk-i Sulayman-i Nabi, Shahriar Bahrani, 2010), which I argue is the first Qur’anic epic in Iranian cinema if not in the Muslim world.
Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz is the Head of Persian Studies and Senior Lecturer in Persian and Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of Shi’i Islam in Iranian Cinema: Religion and Spirituality in Film (London, 2011) and a number of articles and chapters in the field of Iranian Film Studies. Dr. Pak-Shiraz also regularly collaborates with a number of film festivals, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival and The Edinburgh Iranian Festival.