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updated on 05.01.2023
It is with great satisfaction that we welcome the news of the release of Taraneh Alidoosti, the actress arrested on December 17th by the Iranian police for expressing her support for the revolution that is sweeping the country. Awarded as best actress in Locarno in 2002 for her role in Rasoul Sadrameli’s film Man, taraneh, panzdah sal daram, Taraneh Alidoosti is unfortunately only one of the thousands of people who have fallen victim to the Iranian government's brutal repression. As Locarno Film festival, we mobilized for her to be freed and today we are exultant that Taraneh Alidoosti can be safely returned to the warmth and love of her family. The fight for the freedom of Iranian women and men, however, is a long one. And it is to them that our thoughts go out at the beginning of this year. The Locarno Film Festival, a stronghold for freedom of expression, thought, and speech, will always be with artists and intellectuals, and it sides with the desire for freedom and self-determination of all Iranian communities.
What is happening in Iran is there for all to see. Yet the Western silence is deafening, despite commendable exceptions. The Iranian revolution, peaceful and joyful, is being attacked with extreme, hateful violence by a power that will not listen to reason. For years we have misunderstood the silences and rarefactions of Iranian cinema as the sole expression of a poetics of subtraction, without being able to fully grasp the reason for so many unspoken words. It was only when the axe of repression fell on Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof, Keywan Karimi and so many others that we suddenly woke up from our torpor and saw the violence in action. The death of Mahsa Amini was a watershed. Repression came down with extreme violence: children, women, artists, the elderly. Now Taraneh Alidoosti's name, wonderful actress – awarded in Locarno for her performance in 2002 – , is added to the list of victims. As a place dedicated to freedom of expression and speech, as a film festival that has always listened to the voices coming from Iranian cinema, we firmly express our outrage against this unacceptable violence. To remain silent is to be complicit. The Locarno Film Festival, in keeping with its tradition against all censorship and violence, sides with the Iranian communities' desire for freedom and self-determination.
Zhen, Zhian, Azadi!
Jin Jîyan Azadî!
Shervin Hajipour (1997) is an Iranian singer, known for his song "Baraye", which has been described as "the anthem" of the Mahsa Amini protests. He was arrested on 29 September 2022, two days after the song was initially published.