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His film is competing for an award in Cannes, but he is facing prison time

His film is competing for an award in Cannes, but he is facing prison time

“The Seed of the Sacred Fig” directed by Mohammad Rasoulof was among the films nominated for the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes International Film Festival. Sentenced to imprisonment and flogging in his native Iran, the filmmaker fled the country to avoid arrest.

Mohammad Rasoulof was sentenced to 8 years in prison and flogging for films and political statements that, according to the Iranian authorities, were directed against the security of the state. The sentence against the filmmaker, who openly opposes the regime, was passed about a month ago. The director expected that the court would impose another penalty on him after the premiere of his latest film, so he decided to leave Iran.

Mohammad Rasoulof sentenced to 8 years in prison. The director escaped from Iran

Rasoulof said his passport was confiscated by the Islamic Republic in 2017, so he left the country unofficially. “It was a several-hour, exhausting and extremely dangerous walk that I had to take with a guide. I had to stay there (in the shelter) for quite a long time before they could move me to the city and from there to a place where I could contact the German authorities,” he confessed director in an interview for The Guardian. The filmmaker got to Germany and, as he announced, intends to appear at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Rasoulof believes that the repression against him and other Iranian filmmakers is intended to discourage them from creating works of a liberating nature and expressing their attitude to what is currently happening in the country. Despite the director’s sentences, he intends to continue making similar films. “I wrote a lot of projects while I was in prison and I always felt that if I went to prison for years, I wouldn’t have the strength or ability to make these films. So I have to make them first, and then there’s always time to come back and go to prison … My mission is to convey the narrative of what is happening in Iran and the situation we are in as Iranians. This is something I cannot do in prison,” the director added in an interview with The Guardian.

Source: Gazeta

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