In the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, an Iranian film in competition censored by Russia

By Le Figaro with AFP



Directed by Danish-Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi, the film was banned for violating Russian law, authorities said, without further details. Niviere David/ ABACA PRESS

Nights of Mashadin official competition, was banned from broadcasting by Moscow at a time when the country seeks to strengthen its ties with Tehran.

Russian authorities suspended the theatrical release of an Iranian film selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022 and retracing the journey of a serial killer who attacks prostitutes, the distributor of the feature film said on Tuesday. Nights of Mashad directed by Danish-Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasiis inspired by the true story of a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who killed 16 prostitutes in early 2000 in Mashad, one of the main holy cities of Shiite Islam.

The film was released in cinemas in Russia on May 11, but the Ministry of Culture withdrew its distribution license less than a week later. The broadcast has been cancelled.because of the presence in the film in question” material whose dissemination is prohibited by the law of the Russian Federation, the ministry said without giving further details. “Unfortunately it’s truesimply said Anastasiya Kruglyakova, a representative of distributor Exponenta Film, in a written statement to AFP.

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In 2022, actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi received the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Nights of Mashad where she plays a journalist investigating the murders of prostitutes. Iran protested to France after the selection of the film in official competition at Cannes, describing this decision as “bad and totally political“.

The director of Nights of Mashad did not have permission to film in Iran and had to fall back on Jordan. The Russian U-turn on Nights of Mashad occurs when Russia and Iran seek to strengthen ties in order to bring Moscow out of its growing isolation since the invasion of Ukraine early 2022.

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