Iran may boycott the Venice Biennale because of sanctions imposed on its oil and economy and the fact that–horror!– the European Union is applying pressure on this country to abandon its nuclear program.
“Taking into account the fact that the E.U. has imposed the highest inhuman and illegal sanctions against Iran, we’re naturally thinking of boycotting the Venice Film Festival,” said Alireza Sajadpour on Monday as quoted by the daily Tehran Times. The festival is to be held from August 29 to September 8.
“We’re considering not allowing Iranian films to be in these festivals because of European sanctions against the Iranian people,” he added.
The movie “The Paternal House” by Kianoush Ayari was selected as part of the Horizon program, out of competition.
Sajadpour Alireza said the film by Kianoush Ayari had not yet obtained the permits to be shown in theaters, both inside Iran and abroad, and that the director had to make some “adjustments” in order to obtain the permission, a allusion to Iran’s tight-fisted censorship apparatus. “I am hoping that this information is not true,” he said in response to a statement about the film being show in Venice. According to Iran’s legal system all films must obtain a series of permits in order to be shown inside a theater (what this means is that filmmakers must jump through a series of hoops just to ensure their livelihood and that their art form will actually see light of day at some point. That a film in Iran actually gets made and then is exported overseas is nothing short of a miracle.
The European Union has imposed drastic oil and financial sanctions against Iran since July 1st after that country’s refusal to curb its nuclear program.