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Panahi, Jafar

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Le Monde - France | 21/12/2010

Jafar Panahi defends the freedom of Iranian cinema

The Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has been sentenced to six years in prison for criticising the Iranian government, and has been banned from travelling and exercising his profession for 20 years. His colleague Mohammad Rasoulof was also sentenced to six years. Panahi speaks out in his own defence in the left-liberal daily Le Monde: "To judge us is to judge all committed, social and humanitarian Iranian filmmakers. Our cinema aims to stand above good and evil, it does not judge and does not toady to power and money. It simply does its best to convey a realistic image of society. I have been accused of wanting to promote the spirit of revolt. Yet throughout my career I have always claimed to be a social, not a political director, giving expression to social, and not political preoccupations. I have never sought to put myself in the place of a judge or a prosecutor. It's not to judge that I became a filmmaker, but to show things as they are."

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