First things first. Jean Renoir’s dark The Testament of Dr. Cordelier, made for French television, has little to do thematically with Robert Louis Stevenson’s masterpiece, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, on which it’s ostensibly based. For Stevenson’s late Victorian novella addressed a momentous issue: the transformed meaning of Judeo-Christian myth in […]

FIZA (Khalid Mohamed, 2000)

The destruction of the Babri Masjid, a mosque dating back to the sixteenth century, in December 1992 by Hindu extremists triggered the 1993 “Bombay riots” in Mumbai (Bombay), India, which led to more than 1500 deaths among the clashing groups, Muslims and Hindus. Using this recent national tragedy as backdrop, Khalid Mohamed’s Fiza, a Bollywood […]

TWO WOMEN (Tahmineh Milani, 1999)

On the occasion of her film The Hidden Half (Nimeh-ye penhan, 2001), director Tahmineh Milani was detained for trial by Iran’s Revolutionary Court, which adjudged the film to contain “counterrevolutionary” elements. This court is the premier legal arm of the fundamentalist Islamic clerics who currently have the final say in Iranian social, cultural and political […]