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Friday, February 06, 2004

Iran behind the lens 

Since everyone else is doing such a great job of rounding up Iran news today, I'm going to take a detour from the election coverage.

I came across a Wired article about underground filmmakers in Iran. These courageous people face imprisonment for some of the ideas they explore on film, and their determination to reach people is remarkable.

And in the modern world it's much harder for a government to suppress ideas:

These underground films always have been difficult to exhibit -- you won't find them in theaters or on TV in their countries of origin. [Director Ali] Mantini's films have not been seen outside his neighboring villages. However, low-cost video decks are helping get banned movies out into the world.

"These films have never had distribution and so could not be seen, and they haven't grown to the same strength as the official cinema," said [exiled journalist and filmmaker Moslem] Mansouri. "But the distribution and viewing of these underground films have increased a great deal. As soon as anyone gets their hands on something that can be considered a banned film they make copies and pass them on."
Just one more way the mullahs' grip on Iranian society is slipping.
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