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Iranian Religious Films and Inter-religious Understanding

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AbstractThe article deals with two recent Iranian films, al-Masih (Teh Messiah) by Nader Talebzadeh and Maryam al-Muqaddasah (Holy Mary) by Shahriar Bahrani. Both movies are about religious characters shared by Islam and Christianity: Zechariah, Mary and Jesus. The article explores the way the filmmakers have made use of both Islamic and non-Islamic sources to tell their story, and it analyses the stylistic and narrative means they have employed. Are these films contributing to the mutual religious understanding of Christians and Muslims? If so, how? And if not, why not?

Affiliations: 1: Protestant Theological University Amsterdam The Netherlands, Email:, URL:


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