Iran irate over Cannes prize contender

21st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, May 21, 2007 (AFP) - Iran has protested to France over the screening at the Cannes film festival of an animated film about a woman growing up in revolutionary Iran, slamming the movie as a "political act", local media reported on Monday.

TEHRAN, May 21, 2007 (AFP) - Iran has protested to France over the screening at the Cannes film festival of an animated film about a woman growing up in revolutionary Iran, slamming the movie as a "political act", local media reported on Monday.

"Persepolis", which stems from a best-selling comic book series by Iranian emigre Marjane Satrapi and is competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or, shows its heroine struggling with the authorities in the early days of the Islamic revolution.

"The Cannes film festival has selected a film about Iran which presents an unreal picture of the outcomes and achievements of the Islamic revolution," said a letter to the French cultural attache in Tehran carried by the press.

"Could the selection of this film... not be counted as a political or even anti-cultural act on the festival's part?" said the letter penned by the government-run Farabi Cinema Foundation.

The Farabi foundation works under the culture and Islamic guidance ministry and is tasked with promoting and marketing Iranian cinema all over the world.

It complained that "Persepolis" was the only Iranian film competing in the competition this year and accused the festival authorities of "acting in line with the biased policies of domineering powers" against Iran.

Satrapi, whose black-and-white comic-memoirs have been translated into more than 20 languages and won several awards, co-directed the film along with Vincent Paronnaud.

The film, to be premiered in Cannes on Wednesday, shows Satrapi's rebellious eight-year-old screen persona watching the downfall of the shah followed by the imposition of Islamic law after the 1979 revolution.

She witnesses the horrors of the war with Iraq, leaves for Austria but quickly feels the solitude of an exile.

Satrapi, who now lives in France, published the first book of the four-volume series in France in 2000.

The series has not been published in Iran, which applies tough vetting on publications and bans books deemed to be decadent and unIslamic or contrary to revolutionary values.

This is not the first time this year Iran has been angered by a major film.

In March the authorities and bloggers alike were infuriated by the war epic "300", a smash hit for its gory portrayal of the Greco-Persian wars, with officials saying the movie was "American psychological warfare against Iran."


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Cannes Film Festival

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