BSFC Press Release - January 29, 2011
BOSTON SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS CALL FOR THE RELEASE OF IRANIAN FILMMAKERS
BOSTON —On December 18, 2010 an Iranian court sentenced Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof to six years in prison and banned both from filmmaking for 20 years for “colluding in gatherings and making propaganda against the regime.”
The members of the Boston Society of Film Critics add their voices to those of the many other individuals and organizations who have protested this injustice. We strongly urge the Iranian government to release both artists, whose work can only further the advancement of such values as justice, compassion, tolerance, and human dignity. Jafar Panahi’s films in particular have won international awards, earned the accolades of critics all over the world, and delighted and inspired audiences everywhere they are shown.
Not only does the court’s decision impose an outrageous penalty on artists whose sole crime is telling the truth, but it deprives Iran and the world of future works by filmmakers of outstanding talent and vision.
We intend our protest to affirm the value of artistic expression and the power of cinema to transcend political differences and unite people in their common humanity. We hope that the Iranian government will recognize the wisdom of releasing Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof immediately in the name of these universal principles.
What can you do? Add your voice to Sean Penn and Martin Scorcese’s at Amnesty International. You can also contact your political representatives as well as the State Department.