Posted by · 12:53 pm · December 20th, 2010

Just as a reminder that there are bigger injustices going on in the film world than so-and-so missing out on an Oscar nomination. I can’t even get my head round this. Depriving one of the world’s master filmmakers of the right to practise his art for two whole decades? What a waste. It makes six years in jail seem the lesser punishment. From Yahoo! News:

Celebrated Iranian filmmaker and vocal backer of the opposition movement, Jafar Panahi, has been handed six years in jail and banned from making films and leaving Iran for 20 years, his lawyer said Monday.

“Mr. Panahi has been sentenced to six years in jail on a charge of (participating) in a gathering and carrying out propaganda against the system,” Farideh Gheirat told ISNA news agency.

“His social rights, which include a ban on making movies, writing scripts, foreign travel and giving interviews to domestic and foreign media, have been taken away for 20 years.”

More here. If you’re not sure what we’re about to lose, find yourself a copy of “Crimson Gold” and weep.


→ 13 Comments Tags: | Filed in: Daily

13 responses so far

  • 1 12-20-2010 at 12:57 pm

    Rashad said...

    Should have left long ago

  • 2 12-20-2010 at 1:00 pm

    Maxim said...

    As if there was ever going be any doubt that this was purely political those bastards had go and take away his right to work or even write. Man the Arab world is a scary place.

    Here’s hoping the man is able to escape and do so safely, somehow. A few vocal outcries could certainly help.

  • 3 12-20-2010 at 1:31 pm

    m1 said...

    Petition this!!!

  • 4 12-20-2010 at 1:48 pm

    André said...

    truly horrible… here’s hoping he can find a way out of there.

  • 5 12-20-2010 at 2:36 pm

    Squirrelman said...

    This is just indescribably horrible.

    Here’s hoping for a petition/escape- anything to get him out of there.

  • 6 12-20-2010 at 2:37 pm

    Ibbs said...

    Crimson Gold and The Circle are both among the best films of the decade. Doesn’t leave much confusion over why he’s been handed this sentence, though. I really just wish he had left the country when he had a chance. :(

  • 7 12-20-2010 at 2:41 pm

    Squirrelman said...

    I just signed the online petition- about 3400 others have done so as well. Here’s hoping that he can somehow be free.

  • 8 12-20-2010 at 2:43 pm

    Pete said...

    It appears Jafar has been freed on bail for now. This doesn’t mean much, of course, but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.

  • 9 12-20-2010 at 3:14 pm

    Amir said...

    Maxim: Iran is not part of the arab world. It’s not an arab country. But yeah, your point on the injustices is absolutely valid.

    Being iranian, and having grown up there, i’m not unfamiliar with these sort of bans. (for starters, Kiarostami, arguably our most celebrated director has a lifetime ban for screening his movies inside Iran because he kissed Catherin Deneuve when he won Palme d’or.)

    But this is beyond ridiculous. To think that he can practically do nothing for twenty years…
    It’s not even about freedom of speech anymore, it’s just freedom of life. What can he do?

    P.S. the 6 years in prison is not really gonna be carried out. It’s a special sort of imprisonment under the Iranian law. Hence why the 20 year ban on working is the MUCH sadder part of this news.

    P.P.S i still think his masterpiece is “The White Balloon”. It was my favourite film as a kid and it’s still enndlessly rewatchable.

  • 10 12-20-2010 at 4:01 pm

    Maxim said...

    Amir, I’m bitting my lip. I knew better than that.
    Here’s wishing for saner laws and that jafar doesn’t need to go on a hunger strike.

  • 11 12-20-2010 at 5:56 pm

    James D. said...

    So, when he does make another film, will writers champion it as The Return of Jafar?

    Iran still stones women to death despite pleas from Westerners. I doubt petitions will do anything.

  • 12 12-20-2010 at 7:29 pm

    Pete said...

    Wow. Iran sucks! Speak your mind and get your life taken away. Someone needs to pull a Dark Knight and get this man out of Iran. If you don’t know what I mean by ‘Dark Knight’, I mean the scene where Batman goes to Hong Kong and forcefully extradites Lau – the money launderer.

  • 13 12-20-2010 at 9:25 pm

    Glenn said...

    Yeah, such tragic development and a disgrace.