My dear friend and fellow blogger Sheila is a film appreciator and critic, an avid reader of history, particularly of the area encompasing Eastern Europe, Eurasia (the 'stans), and the Middle East (think the Ottoman Empire) , and a crack writer, is incensed by Iran's imprisonment of their great film directors, Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof, and has decided to host an Iranian Film Blogathon next week. I, for one, am participating. Consider joining Sheila, myself, and the many others who will be viewing and writing on Iranian film (no experience necessary, see Sheila's comment), or stopping by the sites that have and reading about it.
On 20 December 2010 Panahi, after being prosecuted for “assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” was sentenced to six years in jail and subjected to a 20-year ban on making any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media, and leaving his country. Rasoulof received a similar sentence.
Hundreds of filmmakers, critics, writers, actors, producers, and several human rights organizations and government representatives have been vocal in their opposition to his imprisonment. Many individual gestures, such as Sheila's, this one at The Tarpeian Rock, and his inspiration at Audiovisual Salvage, are attempting to raise awareness. I love the chain-like succession of gestures that has evolved into this blogothon, like fire catching from a tinder. Pass it on!
Or go catch a film by Panahi or Rasoulof at the Asia Society's tribute running from February 25 - March 11 at:
Film Series: A Tribute to Iranian Filmmaker Jafar PanahiAsia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Pass it on.