Trauma of Iranian Modernity and Desire for Machine in Naderi’s The Runner

  • Amir Barati University of Missouri-Kansas City
Keywords: Iranian Cinema, Modernity, Amir Naderi, The Runner


Amir Naderi’s The Runner (1984) marks an enigmatic inception of a golden age in Iranian cinema. The film portrays the extensive historical rupture the violent force of an imported modernity introduced to the Iranian traditional society. It also shows how desiring bodies in a developing country are beached in their competition with the western machinery. A unique product of Iranian cinema, the film surveys a nation’s optimistic quest for synchronization of parallax ways of being; the Iranian’s strive to emerge out of its traditional fabric and welcome the imported Frankenstein. And, while showcasing the first Iranian modern city, the film comments on the historical turmoil bloody wars produced for the native population generating an ambivalent yet precise image of a war-torn society in transition to modernity.