Ken Loach boycotts Iranian film festival


by Sunny
23rd January, 2010 at 10:09 am    

The Independent reports:

It is Iran’s answer to Cannes, Venice and Berlin rolled into one. The cinematic and cultural highlight of the Islamic republic’s calendar, the annual Fajr festival in Tehran is a 10-day extravaganza of film, drama, poetry and literature. This year’s event, which opens on Monday, ought to be a magnet for the country’s artistic elite and a host of international stars.

But Ken Loach and the British theatre director Peter Brook are among leading Western artistic figures who have informed the Islamic regime they are pulling out in protest at its brutal crackdown on the opposition, which includes torture, prison rapes, countless killings and Stalinist-style televised show trials of reformists.

Ken Loach, of course, did the right thing. But I can just imagine certain blogs on either sides of the spectrum where heads will asplode in trying to figure out how to deal with this.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Ken Loach boycotts Iranian film festival http://bit.ly/5kAV1E


  2. seaofliberty

    Pickled Politics: "Ken Loach boycotts Iranian film festival" – http://bit.ly/5YvxMY – #iranelection #iran


  3. Khoshkele doc

    Good for Ken! RT @seaofliberty: "Ken Loach boycotts Iranian film festival" – http://bit.ly/5YvxMY – #iranelection


  4. Inspired by Iran

    via @iranangel Ken Loach & Peter Brook boycott Iranian film festival http://bit.ly/69vTLe #Iranelection #cnn #bbc #iran


  5. neda angelofiran

    Ken Loach boycotts Iranian film festival http://bit.ly/69vTLe #Iranelection #cnn #bbc #iran




  1. MikeSC — on 23rd January, 2010 at 10:52 am  

    Will all the blogs (and newspapers- like the Independant) that accused him of being anti-Semitic for his last boycott accuse him of being anti-Muslim?

  2. Kits — on 23rd January, 2010 at 11:37 am  

    I don’t think they will accuse him of being anti-muslim but it would have been very bad judgement to have attended when that regime is so demonstrably bad. I think the saying about stopped clocks may apply here. Ken Loach’s comments about Israel and understandable antijewish bigotry were pretty stupid and obtuse.

  3. lemontea — on 23rd January, 2010 at 11:50 am  

    This jumping on the iranian opposition bandwagon smacks of double standards. We are getting 99% of information from twitter,youtube and blogs from opposition sources. The vast majority of iranians are poor and do not have a blackberry or even internet and they support the current regime so where is the balance in reporting and impartiality?

  4. Boyo — on 23rd January, 2010 at 3:46 pm  

    “This jumping on the iranian opposition bandwagon smacks of double standards.”

    Are you in that new Chris Morris comedy?

    How do you know the “vast majority” support it? It’s not as if there was a proper election… and even so, are you saying that judicial rape and murder are acceptable as long as the majority agree? Now where have I heard that before… oh yes, Nazi Germany.

    You’re NOT in that comedy are you?

  5. Shatterface — on 23rd January, 2010 at 4:28 pm  

    “This jumping on the iranian opposition bandwagon smacks of double standards.”

    On the contrary, this shows some consistancy. It’ll be interesting to see if HP (I’m assuming that’s who Sunny is hinting at) give him credit or whether they’ll use it as an excuse to reprint his earlier allegedly ‘anti-Semitic’ comments.

    ”The vast majority of iranians are poor and do not have a blackberry or even internet and they support the current regime so where is the balance in reporting and impartiality?”

    Do you not think their ‘support’ and their lack of access to dissenting voices might be linked?

  6. asquith — on 23rd January, 2010 at 5:58 pm  

    If the vast majority of Iranians can’t convey their views, then how do you know what they think?

  7. halima — on 23rd January, 2010 at 6:47 pm  

    Are the vast majority of Iranians poor?

  8. Sunny — on 23rd January, 2010 at 7:35 pm  

    Good qustion MikeSC – I wanted to ask the same! ;-)

  9. lemontea — on 23rd January, 2010 at 9:34 pm  

    2005 the election was won by ahmedenjad by around 60% no outcry or claims of mass fraud. 2009 ahmedenjad wins by around 60% of the vote again completely different reaction in organised manner yet no evidence is provided except slogans.

    Vast majorty of iranians funnily enough don’t live in tehran they live in towns and villages outside tehran. These are not well off people and they are loyal to the current regime even when they haven’t delivered on a lot of their promises.

    I don’t have issue with dissent or opposing views but when you only get one side of the story fed 24/7 you need to make a stand about impartiality and fair reporting.

  10. Phomesy — on 25th January, 2010 at 7:44 pm  

    “Will all the blogs (and newspapers- like the Independant) that accused him of being anti-Semitic for his last boycott accuse him of being anti-Muslim?”

    If Ken Loach suggested that anti-muslim behaviour was “not surprising and understandable” because of the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as he described antisemitism in the context of Israel, then I’d hope they would.

    Wouldn’t you?

  11. The Common Humanist — on 27th January, 2010 at 10:11 am  

    Am glad that Ken has made this decision. Clearly it is the right thing to do.

    Am also glad seeing such a prominent far leftist applying something approaching even standards with respect to the behaviour of Israel and a Muslim dictatorship rather then just ignoring what the Muslim states do.

    Progress!!!!

  12. eddie — on 27th January, 2010 at 11:33 am  

    He claims he listened to the voices of the opposition in the arts community in Iran. Rather different to his stance on Israel where he ignored the Israeli arts community and went ahead with a boycott. A clear case of double standards on Loach’s part. Looking for Eric is a good film though.

  13. Brownie — on 27th January, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

    Will all the blogs (and newspapers- like the Independant) that accused him of being anti-Semitic for his last boycott accuse him of being anti-Muslim?

    For the hard of thinking, there’s a difference between orchestrating a campaign to force festival organisers to return sponsorship money from countries you don’t like and also dictate which films can and cannot be shown, and taking a perosnal decision whether or not to attend festival X.

    Sheesh!

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