Iran Cracks Down On Filmmakers

“Censorship of wilful new movies by Iran cast a cloud over the Venice Film Festival after one director was blocked from leaving the Islamic republic and another had his film seized… In [Babak Payami’s] latest movie, a Taliban soldier is ordered to have sex with a woman who is sentenced to death because she is still a virgin, and according to the Taliban interpretation of Islam, a virgin would automatically get into paradise.” Organizers in Venice had made a deliberate attempt to include Middle Eastern voices in this year’s festival, despite the inherent risk involved for participating directors from restricted societies like Iran.