Golshifteh Farahani on the role of art in Iran: “In a dictatorship like Iran, art is essential, it’s like oxygen” – Berlin Film Festival

Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, who is currently serving as a member of Kristen Stewart’s jury at the Berlin Film Festival, spoke passionately about the importance of art in her homeland as an antidote to its oppressive government.

“In a country like Iran, which is a dictatorship, art is not just an intellectual or philosophical thing, it’s essential, it’s like oxygen,” he said at the festival’s opening press conference.

“Making art and being an artist is something that transcends, because being an artist threatens your existence.”

Iran’s authoritarian government has long persecuted professionals in the country’s creative community when they sided with its hardline Islamist policies.

The crackdown has escalated over the past year, with a brutal crackdown on freedom of expression preceding recent protests and seeing Berlinale Golden Bear winners Zafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulf jailed for more than six months. Both were recently released on bail.

Farahani has been living in France since 2012.

He was declared personable back home and forced to flee after he got on the wrong side of Iran’s repressive Islamic Republic regime for a role in Ridley Scott’s 2008 spy thriller. false physicalAppearing without a hijab, and later posing nude for a French magazine madame figaro.

Farahani now regularly works between Europe and the US with more credits Peterson, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, Daughters of the Sun, Arab blues And extraction.

The actress last acted in Berlinale in 2009 as the lead actress in Asghar Farhadi’s play. About EllieFor which he won the Silver Bear for Best Director.

She later accused Farhadi of preventing her from walking the red carpet at the Berlinale as she faced controversy back home. false physical.

The director denied allegations that Farahani stood out on the red carpet due to his own deviance.

“I am very happy to be here with you,” Farahani said at Thursday’s press conference.

“I came here in 2009 and it was a very different year. Being in Berlin is very symbolic. Berlin is the city that broke the wall, the real wall, towards equality, freedom, and brought many people together,” he said.

“This year with Ukraine, with Iran and with the earthquake, it seems like the whole world is falling apart,” he said. “With everything that’s happening in Iran, coming back to Berlin after so many years, I’m happy that we can gather together and celebrate cinema, celebrate freedom, even though the world is collapsing everywhere.”

The Berlin Film Festival’s international jury, chaired by actress Stewart, also includes German director Valeska Griesbach, Romanian director Radu Jud, US casting director and producer Francine Meisler, Spanish director Carla Simon and iconic Hong Kong director and producer Johnny To.

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