Iranian protest film and maker banned from Lebanon
Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 09-10-2011 The Lebanese Government has banned an Iranian documentary showing the violence leading up to the 2009 presidential elections from being screened at the Beirut Film Festival, along with the man who made it.
Nader Davoodi’s Red, White and the Green was to be screened at the Middle East Documentary Film Competition, part of the larger festival which has been attracting film buffs to the Lebanese capital since 5 October.
“Lebanese censorship authorities on Friday (7 October) informed us we would have to pull Iranian director Nader Davoodi’s film Red, White and the Green from our programme and today (9 October) we were informed that Davoodi would not be able to travel to Lebanon,” Colette Naufal, director of the Beirut International Film Festival told Lebanon’s The Daily Star.
Iranian Kurdish filmmaker Ibrahim Al-Saaidi, director of Mandoo, was also unable to attend the festival due to unspecified travel difficulties, added Nafaul.
Authorities had reportedly warned the organisers four months ago against showing another Iranian film by Iranian Hana Makhmalbaf. Green Days includes raw footage of the Iranian security clampdown on protestors following the disputed election in 2009.
Filmmaker Makhmalbaf is the daughter of close supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the Iranian opposition leader who publically questioned the validity of the results which saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected as President.
The coalition government in Lebanon is led by Hezbollah, which is a strong ally of the Iranian regime.
The Beirut Film Festival, which is now in its 11th year, opened with a screening of The Tree of Life by US director Terrence Malick. The film won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The line up originally included 24 films from the Middle East, with six films from Iran planned to join others from Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon.
The festival ends on 13 October with the screening of The Skin I Live In by renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar.