Mohammad Rasoulof Criticizes Iran at Cannes 2024 Press Conference

The Seed of the Sacred Fig, the brand new movie from Iranian dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof, could or will not be honored tonight when the Cannes jury arms out its awards. However on the press convention for the movie on Saturday, Rasoulof displayed his personal heroism.

The director used his press convention to name out Iran’s authoritarian regime and to rally his fellow filmmakers to withstand.

“My solely message to Iranian cinema is don’t be afraid of intimidation and censorship in Iran,” mentioned Rasoulof. “[The regime is] afraid. They’re afraid, and so they need us to really feel afraid; they need to discourage us. However don’t let your self be intimidated … however don’t concern the authorities. You need to imagine in your liberty. We have now to combat for a dignified life.”

Rasoulof embodies this combat. The director fled Iran by foot a number of weeks in the past, escaping after the regime sentenced him to eight years in jail. Strolling Cannes’ crimson carpet for the world premiere of Seed of the Sacred Fig Friday evening, he held up photographs of the movie’s two lead actors, Missagh Zareh and Soheila Golestani, who’ve each been prevented by the authorities from leaving Iran.

At his press convention, Rasoulof was defiant, but in addition relaxed and assured, joking that his movie crew referred to themselves as “the gangsters of cinema” for violating each rule of Iran’s state censorship within the making of the movie. (The Seed of the Sacred Fig defies all of the official Iranian authorities taboos by brazenly criticizing the regime, depicting girls and women not sporting hijabs and exhibiting police violence in opposition to peaceable pro-democracy protesters).

“We joked if we needed to see cocaine, it could have been simpler [than making this movie],” Rasoulof quipped.

Now in exile in Germany, the director mentioned he’ll proceed to criticize the Iranian regime from outdoors the nation. “I’ve joined the cultural Iran that exists outdoors its borders,” he famous.

Whereas acknowledging, even now, he lives underneath an actual risk of violence, Rasoulof mentioned Tehran’s state terror is definitely a present of weak spot.

“[The regime] portrays itself as a supreme energy, the strongest regime in that area, however they’re afraid of energy,” he mentioned. “Why are they so afraid of the tales we inform? Why do they attempt to repress unbiased cinema?”

In a rallying name, he informed his fellow artists to “stay true to your individual beliefs and uphold your freedom of expression.”

Neon snatched up The Seed of the Sacred Fig for North America forward of its Cannes premiere. Movies Boutique is promoting the movie worldwide.