The space given to Jafar Panahi in Tehran's Museum of Cinema is much larger than his cell in prison.
Jafar Panahi is back in prison. The acclaimed Iranian director, one of the leading figures in the Iranian New Wave, was jailed this week for six years — and banned from filmmaking for 20 years — after his prosecution for allegedly working on a film about the disputed Iranian presidential election of 2009. (The New Republic recently trumpeted his status as "the filmmaker laureate of The Green Movement.") Another filmmaker, Muhammad Rasoulof, received a six-year sentence on similar charges. "This is a catastrophe for Iran's cinema," Columbia University professor Hamid Dabashi told the Guardian. [more inside]
Remember all the enthusiastic press coverage about the all-important role Twitter played in helping to organize Iranian activists on the ground during the protests that sparked the Green Movement after the last Iranian elections? (Discussed previously here, here and here on the blue.) Some in the press even dubbed this period "Iran's Twitter Revolution". Think again, Golnaz Esfandiari argues in Foreign Policy's latest installment in its "Misreading Tehran" series, because "Simply put: There was no Twitter Revolution inside Iran."
Misreading Tehran: Leading Iranian-American writers revisit a year of dreams and discouragement. "With a full 12 months now between us and the election, the time is ripe to start revisiting the hype and hope in a year of writing: which stories were overblown, what stories were missed entirely, and what can be gleaned about Iran's annus horribilis from a more thorough understanding. FP asked seven prominent Iranian-Americans, deeply immersed in both the English- and Persian-language media, to look through the fog of journalism at what actually happened in Tehran -- and why so many of us got it so wrong." [Via]
For Neda. "For Neda reveals the true story of Neda Agha-Soltan, who became another tragic casualty of Iran's violent crackdown on post-election protests on June 20, 2009. Unlike many unknown victims, however, she instantly became an international symbol of the struggle: Within hours of Agha-Soltan's death, cell phone photographs of her blood-stained face were held aloft by crowds protesting in Tehran and across the world. With exclusive access to her family inside Iran, the documentary goes to the heart of who Neda was and what she stood for, illuminating the larger Iranian struggle for democratic freedoms through her powerful story." [more inside]
Six days ago, Seyed Ali Mousavi, nephew of Iranian opposition leader and figurehead of the Green Movement Mir Hossein Mousavi [wikipedia | facebook] was shot dead during the latest round of protests in Tehran; Seyed Ali had apparently been threatened by the police, and had recently lost his position at the Iran Academy of Arts and Sciences. After burying his nephew amidst government-sponsored protests on Wednesday, Mir Hossein Mousavi showed renewed resolve in a statement on his website which read in part: "I’m not afraid to be one of the people’s martyrs in their struggle for their just demands... My blood is no redder than theirs," and quoted the words of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the republic: "Kill us; we will only become stronger." [New York Times | Times Onlines (UK) | Al-Jazeera | Payvan Iran | Iran Focus News | Reuters | BBC] [more inside]