The documentary about the opium crisis won the Golden Lion

The documentary about the opium crisis won the Golden Lion

79th Mostra Competition Ends Censorship-Free: Recently imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi presented his latest opus on Friday, worsening his own situation to better denounce the crackdown.

The award-winning artist at the biggest festivals, whose incarceration prevented him from coming to defend his film “The Bears Don’t Exist,” in the race for the Golden Lion, is omnipresent on the screen in a mirror game that reflects complexity. His condition: that of a creator locked in his own land.

The press-reserved screening was greeted with a standing ovation for the film, which, like the 62-year-old filmmaker, stood on stage in his own role and continued his work. pitfalls and the temptation to flee a country where he is persecuted.

The film shows him directing from a village in Iran via a video conference application.

“we are afraid”

Panahi, who was jailed in July for “propaganda against the regime”, co-signed a letter to the festival with his colleague Mohammad Rasuloff, in which they accused Tehran of treating the independent filmmakers detained last week as “criminals”.

“The history of Iranian cinema bears witness to the continuous and active presence of independent directors who fought against censorship and guaranteed the survival of this art. Some of them were banned from making films, while others were exiled or reduced to solitary confinement”, they condemned in their mission.

Her compatriot Vahid Jalilvand, the author of the second Iranian film competing in Mostra and performing at the Lido, expressed her support. “No artist or intellectual should be in prison in Iran or anywhere else in the world,” he told AFP on Thursday.

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Iranian power and Panahi had been playing a subtle game of cat and mouse for years, allowing the filmmaker to continue filming, and the situation in his prison changed dramatically.

Demonstration of support

“Free Jafar!” In a column published on Friday entitled, Alberto Barbera, the director of Mostra, worries about his fate and fears “a severe punishment”: “The regime has always opposed him aggressively, and we are all afraid of what will happen to him.

Another show of support took place on the red carpet of the Cinema Palace just before the official screening of the film in the afternoon: a flash mob brought together about a hundred people, with the president of the jury, Alberto Barbera, in the first row. Julianne Moore or French director Audrey Divan, last year’s Golden Lion winner, this year’s jury.

Participants held placards demanding the release of imprisoned filmmakers around the world, including Iranian director and Burmese producer Ma Aint and Turkish journalist and producer Sigdem Mater.

23 movies and license

Jafar Panahi, who started his career as an assistant to Abbas Kiarostami, won the Golden Lion at Venice in 2000 for “The Circle” and the Screenplay Award at Cannes in 2018 for “Three Faces”. For “Taxi Tehran”.

Two other films in competition were presented to the festival audience on Friday: “Les Means” by the 56-year-old French director and actor Roshdi Sem, and “Chiara”, the most personal of the six films already signed by the 56-year-old French director and actor, A. A fresco by the Italian Susanna Nicciarelli about the life of St. Clare, the traveling companion of St. Francis of Assisi, whom history has often relegated to the shadows.

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The race for the prestigious Golden Lion is wide open among the 23 films in the running, with no clear favorite to win “The Event,” a punchy picture about abortion that was awarded last year.

This article was automatically published. Sources: ats / afp

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