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Course Description

‘An Iranian filmmaker has won more Academy Awards than Martin Scorsese.’ ‘A Turkish filmmaker made a film through a surrogate director while in prison on political charges.’ ‘An Israeli soldier uses animated film to explore psychological devastations of war.’ These are just a handful of the surprising facts that one may encounter in exploring Middle Eastern Cinemas. The cinemas of Middle East challenge taboos and presumptions within and about the societies of the region, and present critical insights into contemporary social, cultural and political issues. This course presents a historical overview of significant cinematic works of filmmakers from the Middle East and diaspora. By contextualizing these cultural products within their socio/political environment, this course uses cinematic language as a source in order to reach a better understanding of the modern history of the Middle East, beyond the clichés and stereotypes. Films are chosen from the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey, and beyond. We treat films both as cultural products in order to understand their socio-political context, as well as autonomous works of art, worthy of formal analysis. No prior study of cinema, nor language skills, are required.

This is a virtual synchronous course that follows the published schedule of course meetings and requires attendance at all sessions. Tufts virtual courses are designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive courses to Tufts and visiting students. For more information about virtual course policies and expectations, please visit

Basic Enrollment Requirements: None

Instructor Approval: Not Required.

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Refund Policy: Course Policy 1

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences