Three generations of filmmakers--from Bahram Beiza'i to Mohsen Makhmalbaf to his daughter Samira Makhmalbaf--are all active today, creating works of spectacular range and depth. In Europe and in North America, in Asia and in Latin America, in Australia and Africa, the thematic and narrative richness of Iranian cinema has met with tremendous acclaim. Indeed, its particular mode of realism--building on such cinematic antecedents as Italian, French and German neo-realism--has become truly trans-national, contributing a new visual vocabulary to filmmaking everywhere. "Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema is narrated around fifteen of the best Iranian filmmakers of the past half-century and takes a close look at both their lives and their greatest works. In his vivid account, Hamid Dabashi explains how--despite the censorship of both the Pahlavi monarchy and the Islamic Republic--the creativity of these filmmakers has transcended national and cultural borders. The author explores the rise and ascendancy of Iranian cinema in the more general context of modern Iranian intellectual history. He delves into the roots of Iranian cinema in Persian poetry and fiction and examines ways in which a rich cinematic tradition has been nourished. The book also studies the role that prominent film festivals have played in fostering the global success of Iranian cinema and it investigates the reception of these films withinIran, an intriguing story in its own right.