It’s just been announced that Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, currently facing a sentence of six years in prison and a 20-year employment ban because their work offended the Tehran mullahs, are coming to the 2011 Cannes Film Festival with two politically-charged autobiographical films. Update: The festival press release stated the above by any rational understanding of the English language, but others have deduced that festival staffers didn’t mean to suggest that Panahi and Rasoulof would physically attend the festival.
Rasoulof’s Goodbye, which will screen on Friday, 5.13 as an official Un Certain Regard selection, is about “a young lawyer in Tehran in search of a visa to leave the country, which is what Rasoulof did during the winter of 2010/2011,” says the release. Panah’s This Is Not A Film, showing on Friday, 5.20, “tells how Panahi waited for the verdict of his court appeal [for months],” the release continues. “Through the depiction of a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (a documentary filmmaker and former assistant director) offer us an overview of the current situation of Iranian cinema.”
Said it before, saying it again: Panahi and Rasoulof and their families need to lam it to Paris. Screw the mullahs. Life is short.