After the horrible and unjust imprisonment of Iranian filmmakers Mohammaed Rassoulov and Jafar Panahi that was levied on Monday, the film world has come out in strong support of both of these embattled filmmakers.
First, Deadline is reporting that Martin Scorsese, one of many filmmakers that initially came out in support of Panahi after he was arrested back at the start of March, has released a statement in show of support for Panahi as well as Rasoulof, who also found himself sentenced to six years in prison:
‘I was shocked and disheartened by the news of Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof’s conviction and sentencing,’ said the Shutter Island director. ‘It’s depressing to imagine a society with so little faith in its own citizens that it feels compelled to lock up anyone with a contrary opinion. As filmmakers, we all need to stand up for Panahi and Rasoulof. We should applaud their courage and campaign aggressively for their immediate release.’
Indiewire is also reporting that the Berlinale, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and IFF Rotterdam have all announced their support for the filmmakers, calling not only for their release, but also stating that ruling ‘is a purely political act which seriously violates basic human rights, as well as the right of an artist to freely express ideas and the right to artistic self-realization inherent in freely perceiving the world.’
For those outside of the film world looking to show their support for the directors, you can find a petition for the release of both Panahi and Rassoulov here. We here at the CriterionCast have stated our beliefs on the situation. It’s a horribly unjust and uncalled for sentence, made by a ruling government that sees art as something truly dangerous. Please, sign the petition, and let people know that art is something that can never, and should never, truly be censored.