Here we go again: Three Iranian filmmakers arrested

This is so heartbreaking. On or around his birthday, amazing Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was arrested along with fellow filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof (The White Meadows, Manuscripts Don’t Burn, There is No Evil ) and Mostafa Al-e Ahmad (Poosteh), and vanished into the maw of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s penal “system”. Rasoulof and Al-e Ahmad were arrested first because of critical posts they made on Instagram: they were said to be “inciting unrest and disrupting the psychological security of society”. Pretty fragile society, huh. When Panahi – in an extremely risky move – went to Evin prison to try to find out what happened to his friends, he, too, was arrested. He was told he had six more years to serve of his sentence – apparently “outstanding” from his arrest in 2010 (and subsequent lifelong ban on filmmaking). He was arrested on the spot. The Cannes Film Festival – where Panahi’s films have screened for years – has put out a statement condemning these arrests. And here’s an article about the situation. I am getting a distinct feeling of deja vu. I JUST said in re: Panahi that I lived in fear of something happening to him. There’s a petition demanding the release of these artists. Please consider signing. I’ve been writing about this Jafar Panahi situation for 12 years now – and writing about his films for years before that – and this just sickens me. (And let’s not forget that ever since his 2010 arrest – he was put under house arrest, he’s been harassed and intimidated, and those who have worked with him are arrested, have their passports revoked, etc.) This tyrannical regime has been trying to shut him up – and other artists – for decades now. It’s infuriating.

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