After being arrested in March, and thusly spending a controversial and unjust 88 days in prison, Jafar Panahi has gone on trial in his native Iran.
Accused of making a film ‘without permission and inciting opposition protests,’ Reuters is reporting that Panahi has in fact gone on trial, and has released a statement to the court, stating that he was ‘a victim of injustice and called one of the charges against him ‘˜a joke.”
Panahi had begun production on a new film when his house was raided during a party in March, with not only his wife and child being taken into custody, but his film collection was deemed ‘obscene’ and also taken from his custody. Panahi had come under fire previously for supporting opposition candidates, particularly during last year’s hotly contested presidential election.
The story of Panahi and his recent trouble with the law is one that has been discussed to great extent here on CriterionCast, and obviously throughout the world news scene, but is still no less unjust and truly upsetting. Let this be a notice to American filmmakers, that while you may have studios breathing down your neck, other filmmakers throughout the world must truly head to court to support not only their films, but their craft as a whole. Hopefully Panahi will ultimately prevail in this case, but expect much more on this story as it rises.