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The Best Iranian New Wave Movies

“What are the best Iranian New Wave Movies?” We looked at 35 of the top Iranian New Wave films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 16 films, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Iranian New Wave” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 15+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 16 Best Iranian New Wave Movies Ever Made



16 .) Bashu, the Little Stranger (1989) directed by Bahram Beizai

Bashu, the Little Stranger (1989)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Course Bookings
  • IMDB

During the Iran-Iraq War, Bashu, a young boy loses his house and all his family. Scared, he sneaks into a truck that is leaving the area. He gets off the truck in the Northern part of the country, where everything from landscape to language is different. He meets Naii, who is trying to raise her two young children on a farm, while her husband is away. Despite cultural differences, and the fact that they do not speak the same language, Bashu and Naii slowly form a strong bond Written by Sam Tabibnia ×



15 .) Children of Heaven (1997) directed by Majid Majidi

Children of Heaven (1997)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

Zohre’s shoes are gone; her older brother Ali lost them. They are poor, there are no shoes for Zohre until they come up with an idea: they will share one pair of shoes, Ali’s. School awaits…



14 .) Downpour directed by Bahram Beizai

Downpour

Lists It Appears On:

  • Asia Society
  • Flick Chart

A well-educated, humble teacher arrives in a new city and job in pre-revolutionary Iran.; he falls in love with a hardworking, underprivileged dame caring for her relatives.



13 .) Gheisar (1969) directed by Masud Kimiai

Gheisar (1969)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

A young man’s drive to avenge for his sister and brother.



12 .) No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009) directed by Bahman Ghobadi

No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

Iranian musicians Negar and Ashkan look for band members to play at a London concert … and the visa that allows them to leave Tehran to do so.



11 .) Offside (2006) directed by Jafar Panahi

Offside (2006)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

Since women are banned from soccer matches, Iranian females masquerade as males so they can slip into Tehran’s stadium to see the game between Iran and Bahrain. The ones who are caught and arrested are taken to a holding area and guarded by soldiers. One sympathetic soldier agrees to watch the game through a peephole and recount the action to the impatient fans.



10 .) Taste of Cherry (1997) directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Taste of Cherry (1997)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

A middle-aged Tehranian man, Mr. Badii is intent on killing himself and seeks someone to bury him after his demise. Driving around the city, the seemingly well-to-do Badii meets with numerous people, including a Muslim student, asking them to take on the job, but initially he has little luck. Eventually, Badii finds a man who is up for the task because he needs the money, but his new associate soon tries to talk him out of committing suicide.



9 .) The Color of Paradise (1999) directed by Majid Majidi

The Color of Paradise (1999)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

The story revolves around a blind boy named Mohammed who is released from his special school in Tehran for summer vacation. His father, shamed and burdened by Mohammed’s blindness, arrives late to pick him up and then tries to convince the headmaster to keep Mohammed over the summer. The headmaster refuses, so Mohammed’s father eventually takes him home.



8 .) The Traveler directed by Abbas Kiarostami

The Traveler

Lists It Appears On:

  • Asia Society
  • Flick Chart

The Traveler is a 1974 Iranian drama film directed by Abbas Kiarostami that tells the story of Hassan Darabi, a troublesome, amoral 10-year-old boy in a small Iranian town. He wishes to see the Iran national football team play an important match in Tehran. In order to achieve that, he scams his friends and neighbors. After a number of adventures, he finally reaches Tehran stadium at the time of the match. The film addresses the boy’s determination in his goal and his indifference to the effects of his actions on other people, particularly those who are closest to him. In its element, the film is an examination of human behavior and the balance of right and wrong. ×



7 .) The White Balloon (1995) directed by Jafar Panahi

The White Balloon (1995)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

Several people try to take advantage of a little girl’s innocence to hustle money her mom gave to her to buy a goldfish with.



6 .) Through the Olive Trees (1994) directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Through the Olive Trees (1994)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

The film focuses on one of the events in “Life, and Nothing More…” (1992), and explores the relationship between the film director, and the actors. The local actors play a couple who got married right after the earthquake. In reality, the actor is trying to persuade the actress that they should get married.



5 .) About Elly (2009) directed by Asghar Farhadi

About Elly (2009)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Course Bookings
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers.



4 .) Close-Up (1990) directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Close-Up (1990)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Course Bookings
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event—the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves.



3 .) Still Life (1974) directed by Houshang Baharlou

Still Life (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Course Bookings
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

From Iran, “Still Life,” by Sohrab Shahid Saless, is a minimalist study of lonely, isolated existence. Mohamad Sardari has spent thirty years at a remote outpost raising and lowering a gate to keep road traffic from crossing tracks when a train passes. He lives with his wife in an unadorned shack; a few bare trees dot the threadbare landscape.



2 .) The Circle (2000) directed by Jafar Panahi

The Circle (2000)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Course Bookings
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

Various women struggle to function in the oppressively sexist society of contemporary Iran.



1 .) The Cow (1969) directed by Dariush Mehrjui

The Cow (1969)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Asia Society
  • Course Bookings
  • Flick Chart
  • IMDB

An old villager deeply in love with his cow goes to the capital for a while. While he’s there, the cow dies and now the villagers are afraid of his possible reaction to it when he returns.



 


The 15+ Additional Best Iranian New Wave Films



 

# Movie Directors Lists
17 A Simple Event   Flick Chart
18 Baran   Course Bookings
19 Dead End   Asia Society
20 Hamoun (1990) Dariush Mehrjui IMDB
21 Kamran Shirdel – Social Documentaries   Asia Society
22 Leila (1997) Dariush Mehrjui IMDB
23 Moment of Innocence   Course Bookings
24 Recess   Flick Chart
25 Shirin (2008) Abbas Kiarostami IMDB
26 Tall Shadows of the Wind   Asia Society
27 The Cyclist (1989) Mohsen Makhmalbaf IMDB
28 The Experience   Flick Chart
29 The Lost Cinema   Asia Society
30 The Mongols (1973) Parviz Kimiavi IMDB
31 The White Meadows   Course Bookings
32 The Willow Tree (2005) Majid Majidi IMDB
33 Tranquility in the Presence of Others   Flick Chart
34 Turtles Can Fly   Course Bookings
35 Where is the Friend’s Home?   Flick Chart

 


 


4 Best Iranian New Wave Film Sources/Lists



Source Article
Asia Society Iranian New Wave 1960s-1970s (Film Series)
Course Bookings An Introduction to New Iranian Cinema
Flick Chart The Best Iranian New Wave Movies of All Time – Flickchart www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?genre=Iranian+New+Wav
IMDB Best of Iran’s new wave

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