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The filmmaker against the system

The man against the current
Regissør: Mohammad Rasoulof
(Iran)

Mohammad Rasoulofs The man against the flow is far clearer and more direct in his systemic criticism than is usually seen in Iranian film.

This article was translated by Google and R.E.

With directors like Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Abbas Kiarostami, Samira Makhmalbaf, Jafar Panahi and Asghar Farhadi, Iran has for decades marked itself as an outstanding film country, gaining recognition and awards at the world's leading festivals. This despite the fact that Iranian film has been subject to extensive state censorship ever since the days of the Shah.

Under the current regime, the manuscripts must be approved before recording, and the filmmakers are often required to make extensive changes – if they are allowed to make the film at all. A similar check is then performed by the recorded films, before the cinemas finally have to grant viewing permission. Not only do they take commercial considerations into account, but also the largely conservative moviegoers can resist viewing films they deem problematic.

The art of hinting. This has made Iranian filmmakers the true masters of the art of hint and symbolism, especially with regard to subtle systemic criticism.

Rasoulof did not receive a Film from the South festival in November because Iranian authorities confiscated his passport.

In his first films, the acclaimed director Mohammad Rasoulof was among those who took advantage of this approach. Nonetheless, all of his films are refused screenings in Iran, and eventually he has faced strong opposition from the authorities to continue his work.

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Together with the aforementioned Jafar Panahi, Rasoulof was sentenced in 2010 to 6 years in prison for "propaganda against the regime" in connection with a film they collaborated on, and they were also banned from making films for 20 years. Rasoulof's sentence was later reduced to one year, but they have both also been banned from leaving. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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