Mohsen Makhmalbaf dedicates his prize to Mehdi Karroubi (2 articles summarized)
Summaries of two articles published on October 10 and 11. Only the parts of the article that refer to Iran are translated, the rest is summarized)
1. Title: “Record attendance at Human Rights Movie Festival – ‘Perspektive’ attracted about 10 000 visitors”
Published in “Nürnberger Nachrichten”, 10 October 2009
NÜRNBERG – The Nuremberg Movie Festival for Human Rights ended on Sunday, marking a new visitor’s record. According to the hosts, about 10 000 guests attended the festival this year, 2500 more than last year.
(The article explains details of some of the movies that were presented during the festival ‘Perspektive’, which is the largest festival of this kind in Germany. All in all, 84 movies from 40 nations were shown. This year’s focus was Iran.)
Patron of the festival Mohsen Makhmalbaf dedicated to his achievement award to presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi. Both had been in prison 30 years ago and now denounce strategic rape in prisons in their home country. The closing movie of the “6. Perspektive” was the German premiere of the movie “Green Days” by Makhmalbaf’s daugther Hana Makhmalbaf, which describes the period before and after the elections in Iran of June this year.
(Another awarded movie is the Danish documentary “Burma VJ – Reporting from a closed country” describing the protests of monks in Birma. A highlight of the festival was the presence of Fatou Bensouda, Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, who presented the movie “The Reckoning” about the work of the tribunal.)
2. Title: ” “Record attendance at Human Rights Movie Festival – achievement award for Mohsen Makhmalbaf, mouthpiece of the “Green Rebellion”
Published in “Nürnberger Nachrichten”, October 11, 2009
The article starts by describing the festival and the awards and continues:
Mouthpiece of the “Green Rebellion”
[…] Makhmalbaf’s filmmaking is currently put on hold in favor of his work for human rights, and he “among other things, travels tirelessly, being a mouthpiece for the ‘green rebellion.” Thus, there was time for just a brief encounter with the guests of the festival during the awarding ceremony at the “Künstlerhaus” (House of Artists). “Mohsen Makhmalbaf perfectly implements what we like to see – poetic, artistically challenging, and also political movies in the sense of human rights”, says (festival director) Andrea Kuhn.
The laureate did not lose time and promptly dedicated the “hundred-and-soandso-th award” for the in terms of moviemaking highly productive Makhmalbaf family to Mehdi Karroubi, one of this year’s presidential candidates, with whom he was in prison thirty years ago under the Shah regime and who now, like Makhmalbaf, denounces abuses in Iran. A gesture that soon was found on Iranian internet sites.
Previously, the 52 year old guest of honor at a press conference had underlined that he advocates his cause as emphatically as he is experienced. “I think movies that do not address human rights are pointless movies,” he said. Mere “business” cinema is not able to make people “move”. Therefore, festivals like the “Perspektive” have a high priority: “Here, by our films, we can show that the people of Iran want democracy.”
His estimation is that about 70 percent of Iranians support the green rebellion against the controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A sophisticated, young movement against the regime of the “dictator and murderer” is taking to the streets, with the internet as their weapon and, other than during the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago, Gandhi and Mandela being their role models. We want “to go to the polls like in Germany”, Makhmalbaf describes his vision and underscores the importance of democracy in Iran for world peace: “If a democratic government rules Iran, there will be less terrorism. I promise you!” He is not only one to hope that this will happen.