The last two decades following the Islamic Cultural Revolution have led filmmakers of the New Iranian Cinema to disguise social commentary in film through myths and metaphors. This study highlights the very beginnings of women’s changing roles from being sexual objects of minor interest to becoming subjects of prominent scrutiny in a feminist filmmaker’s film, The Legend of Sigh. Five parallel but alternating stories bring together the dilemmas of five women from different strata culminating in the binding paradox of their lives. It is within this paradox that the role of Sigh, as a duality of the masculine and feminine, is examined as the touch point of the subversive and collaborative layers of the film. A character analysis determines how female representations are structured across power discourses, particularly wielding results of how the technology of power and state ideology shapes female subjectivity by transforming the female voice into sites of resistance. Resistant measures are cited as cries for either initiation into individuation or liberty from the patriarchal norm. The causal motivation behind that resistance is what links the women and their contexts together within the plot. They are all equally either abused or abandoned by the norm in power. Despite the struggle to empower their identity through the maternal guise of Sigh, his paternal guise succeeds in elevating the female voice by confining it to the space of the other.


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pp. 207-216
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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