Local media sources state that renowned Iranian director Saeed Roustaee. Who last year presented his most recent picture at the Cannes International picture Festival. Has been given a six-month prison sentence.
The movie “Leila’s Brothers,” which is about a Tehrani family struggling to make ends meet. Was screened by Roustaee in competition for the Palme d’Or, the top prize given out in Cannes. (The trophy was awarded to Ruben Ostlund’s satire “Triangle of Sadness.)
For screening the movie and “contributing to the opposition’s propaganda against the Islamic regime.” Roustaee and “Leila’s Brother” producer Javad Noruzbegi received a six-month sentence. Iranian media reported. The two will each spend nine days in jail while receiving a five-year suspension of the remainder of their sentences, according to the AFP.
There has been no reaction to our request for comment from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
International reaction to the sentencing has been negative, most notably from American director Martin Scorsese. Who posted a petition to support Roustaee that his daughter Francesca Scorsese had established. Both the petition and a Scorsese shared Instagram post asked for support in order for the man to keep being a force for good in the world. His voice must be heard, I say.
In the past, “Leila’s Brothers” was outlawed in Iran because authorities determined it “broke the rules by being entered at international film festivals without authorisation,” according to AFP.
“Leila’s Brothers” has been praised by critics despite the prohibition. The movie was nominated for Best International Film at the Munich International Film Festival. Even though it didn’t take home the Palme d’Or despite winning two other awards at Cannes.
The imprisonment of filmmakers in Iran is not new. Inquiring about the detentions of two other Iranian directors. Who had been jailed for protesting against violence by security forces toward citizens after a deadly building collapse, acclaimed director Jafar Panahi was detained last year. According to Human Rights Watch, their detentions were “part of a fresh crackdown on peaceful dissent.”
According to Tara Sepehri Far, senior Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch, the government has resorted to its repressive reflex of arresting popular opponents because it is unable or unable to address the very serious difficulties facing Iran. There is no reason to think that the latest arrests are anything other than opportunistic attempts to quell public discontent over the many failings.