Jafar Panahi

A few weeks ago, the Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi was arrested & sentenced to 6 years in prison & banned from making films for 20 years. This is bad news for Iran & for freedom of speech generally. Many people in Iran & elsewhere around the World are suffering in one way or another. Of course he is a human being just as much & suffers in the same way as anybody else. Of course certain cases of suffering, unjust treatment, victims of crime etc become cause célèbre & receive more notice than other cases. They become symbols for everybody else. Prisons are full all over the World. At this rate, it will eventually come to pass that there are more people in prison than not.

In his film the Circle he broke away from the endless Iranian films about the innocence of childhood which avoided anything political or contentious in any way & the characters kept referring to God & his benevolence. The Circle is about the low status of women in Iran & their consequent suffering.

There is a Facebook campaign for his release.

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