Iran denounces Cannes film selection of "Mashhad Nights", Tehran's "political" choice

Iran denounces Cannes film selection of “Mashhad Nights”, Tehran’s “political” choice

Tehran has protested in Paris against the selection of this Iranian film that tells the story of a serial killer of prostitutes and for which the actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi received the award for female performance.

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Tehran announced on Wednesday that it had protested to France against the film’s selection by the Cannes Film Festival The Nights of Mashhad which tells the story of a serial killer of prostitutes in the Islamic Republic.

Directed by the Danish-Iranian Ali Abbassi, The nights of Mashhad was part of the official selection of the 75th edition of the festival, which is not officially linked to the French government. And Iranian Zar Amir Ebrahimi starring in the film won the female acting award.

“We have formally protested with the French government”, Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaili told public television. The selection of this film is “completely political” and aims at “show a bad image of Iranian society”, he added. “We will certainly take this issue into account in our cultural exchanges.”he continued without further details.

The Iranian Film Organization, affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, had already revolted on Monday against the decision “politics” to select the film at the Cannes Film Festival, which took place from 17 to 28 May.

This film is based on the true story of a man who killed 16 prostitutes in the early 2000’s in Mashhad (northeast). Tsar Amir Ebrahimi plays a journalist who tries to unravel the mystery of these murders but is confronted with the machismo of a patriarchal society.

Great Iranian filmmakers have been honored at Cannes such as Abbas Kiarostami (who won the Palm in 1997) and Asghar Farhadi, who twice won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and was on the jury this year.

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