Ended up watching most of two Iranian movies called گاو (The Cow, 1969) and شبنشینی در جهنم (A Party in Hell, 1956). The first was not hugely different from what little I've already seen of Iranian cinema; it's basically an art movie (largely responsible for promoting the Iranian New Wave). The second is a lot more like American movies from around the same time period IMO; the plot reminds me of A Christmas Carol (greedy, rich, old man is visited by supernatural figures that show him the error of his ways and then he suddenly becomes very generous). It was kind of interesting to see people in Tehran(?) openly drinking and apparently also swearing a lot, along with a random reference to Sikhs.
I also saw bits and pieces of Iran's first movie دختر لر (Lor Girl, 1934), Afghanistan's first movie مانند عقاب (Like Eagles, 1967), and an Afghan movie called پناه (Panaah, 2008 - I guess this would mean 'light') about an Afghan refugee smuggler working with the Russian mafia(?) in Bulgaria. All of these have songs except گاو and پناه.