Paul Haggis, Sean Penn and Harvey Weinstein “have joined forces with British-Iranian actress and Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) spokesperson Nazanin Boniadi to condemn the harsh sentence imposed on Iranian film director Jafar Panahi,” a statement reads. Panahi was recently sentenced to six years of Iranian prison confinement plus a 20-year ban on filmmaking for “propaganda against the state.”

Why, I’m asking myself, are Haggis, Penn and Weinstein standing alone? Each and every filmmaker the world over needs to co-sign this petition. It should have 5,000 signatures. Could it be that some are having difficulty rousing themselves into full protest mode over this matter? Perhaps because they can’t relate to the motives of a filmmaker who, as I suggested on 12.20, appears to be more in love with the idea of matryrdom than the necessity of creation?

Those looking to urge Iranian authorities to overturn Panahi’s sentence need to visit