Iranian director says art is under attack at home
(Reuters) – Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami said on Tuesday his government’s imprisonment of colleague Jafar Panahi is “intolerable,” and that film-makers and art in general are under attack in his home country.
Kiarostami, debuting his “Copie Conforme” (“Certified Copy”) in competition at the Cannes film festival, said that for decades independent filmmakers in Iran have faced obstacles created by a government seeking to control their work. “The fact that a filmmaker has been imprisoned is, in itself, intolerable,” Kiarostami said at a festival news conference, through an interpreter.
“Jafar Panahi was inclined to make his film under clandestine, illegal circumstances, but that’s not his responsibility alone. The responsibility is that of the authorities who prevent him from carrying out his profession.
“So when a filmmaker — an artist — is imprisoned, it is art as a whole which is attacked, and it is against this that we should react,” Kiarostami added.