Iranian Director Defies Official Ban Again
Famed Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who was convicted of making propaganda against the state and barred from making films for 20 years, has defied authorities a second time by smuggling out of the country another movie, Closed Curtain, which screened Tuesday at the Berlin Film Festival. Appearing at a news conference at the festival, Kamboziya Partovi, Panahi's longtime associate, remarked, It's difficult to work, but not being able to work is even more difficult, and especially at the height of your career. You become depressed, and I believe this is shown in the film and it comes through. Panahi, who is appealing a six-year prison sentence, has also been barred from traveling out of the country. There are hints of the director's current state of mind in the film's narrative (it is being described as an allegory about his current situation). He has said that he began making the film in a state of depression but began to recover while shooting it. Asked if Panahi had been considering suicide, Partovi responded, He was not constantly thinking about suicide, no, because then he wouldn't have been able to make the film. But if I imagine myself unable to work and just sitting at home, then I am sure I would start to think about suicide.