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.

Meanwhile…

… 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 has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.


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