Let freedom ring.

A couple of months ago, I walked through a Seattle farmers’ market where people were browsing the bounty of produce, arts, and crafts, and passed some young men who were holding up pictures of Obama that had been altered so he would look like Hitler.

And yet they were not arrested. They were not jailed. They were not marked for death. They were free men in a free country, free to express their astonishing ignorance and hatred.


… in Iran, you cannot express yourself freely if your views might offend your nation’s leaders. If you do, well… you’ll see what tyranny looks like.

The world’s filmmaking community is seeing a clear example of this yet again.

A few months back, I posted this and this: news about the plight of the remarkable filmmaker Jafar Panahi.

Then this happened. It was good news, but not a resolution to the trouble.

The story continued this week, taking a dispiriting turn.

Martin Scorsese:

I was shocked and disheartened by the news of Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof’s conviction and sentencing. It’s depressing to imagine a society with so little faith in its own citizens that it feels compelled to lock up anyone with a contrary opinion. As filmmakers, we all need to stand up for Panahi and Rasoulof. We should applaud their courage and campaign aggressively for their immediate release.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Seattle, those lying liars have gone home with their pants on fire to do whatever they like.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.