You may be familiar with Iranian cinema -- its post-revolutionary neorealist incarnation has made waves at international film festivals for three decades now. But Iranian cinema is nothing new -- it began, in fact, in 1897.

Professor Hamid Naficy of Northwestern University has seen the very first Iranian film ever made -- it was found in a tattered box in a closet of the Shah's old palace in Tehran. And the story of how it was made is just the begininng of his four-volume Social History of Iranian Cinema. He spoke with New America Now Host Shirin Sadeghi about his magnum opus on Iranian cinema that was 30 years in the making.

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