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.
Then this happened. It was good news, but not a resolution to the trouble.
The story continued this week, taking a dispiriting turn.
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.