This article explores Iranian women's identities reflected in documentary films made during the post revolution era. By doing so, it draws attention to the complexities of representation with regard to the position of women and the current cultural policies in Iran from a legal, religious, and traditional point of view. The documentary films are divided into two categories:  those made by Iranians residing in Iran and those made by the Diaspora documentary filmmakers, we then examine and compare their content and themes. This will in turn demonstrate the relationship between the two groups of Iranian documentary film makers and the subjects they address. The selected documentaries made in Iran for this study are sponsored by the state, through the Experimental and Documentary Film Centre (DEFC).  This essay will analyze the way the two categories of documentary films [by state and Diaspora] address women’s issues through the themes they cover, their agendas, as well as the adopted aesthetics. These documentary films show the social empowerment of Iranian women as active agents in a society that sets obstacles in women’s paths. The comparison of the two categories of documentary films may thus show the relation between Iranians residing in Iran and those in the Diaspora, which can play a role in Iran’s position internationally. This research looks into three films: Mokarrameh, Article 61 and Divorce, Iranian Style. It will also assess their content and character, and explain what each documentary reflects regarding women’s status in society in that particular era with respect to its theme i.e. law, tradition and religion.


Keywords: Documentary Films, Women and Empowerment, Iran, Film Aesthetics, Gender Identity