Apropos: IRANISCHE ZENSUR / Die Weltwoche Ausgabe 40/2010

Liebe WELTWOCHE,

zuerst einmal möchte ich mich bedanken für Ihr Interesse an den 11th MOQAVEMAT International Film Festival in Teheran, keine

"Mister buy Sunglasses? RayBan very good!" At the Bazar, Tehran, 24. Sept. 2010

Selbstverständlichkeit, steht doch der Iran in der Öffentlichkeit und in den Medien im Regen. Was ist denn das für einer, der nach Teheran reist und dazu noch an einem staatlich unterstützten Filmfestival teilnimmt? Das ist doch alles Propaganda!

Ich bin hingereist, um zu sehen, wie es sich als offizieller Teilnehmer anfühlt und wie die Realität auf der Strasse, in den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln, im Bazar und im Gespräch mit Menschen unterwegs ist.

Die Weltwoche Ausgabe 40/2010

Zensur der iranischen Moralbehörde:...eine weibliche Figur mit Brüsten gemacht...

Zurück zu den Tatsachen: Das zuständige Kommitee in Teheran, das HUMUS for HAMAS auswählte, hat die Szene an der Gaza Beach mit den Knaben, die eine der ihren im Sand eingegraben  und aus ihm wie Gott, der aus Adam die Eva geschaffen hat, eine weibliche Figur mit Brüsten gemacht und “sich an den selber kreierten Brüsten ergötzt haben” ohne mein Wissen herausgeschnitten. Ich habe die Zensur erst bemerkt als ich mir meinen Film mit Farsi-Untertiteln im 100 Stühle fassenden, Saal ohne Zuschauer mit zwei meiner Kollegen angesehen habe. Die Aufforderung, “Ich müsse mir meinen Film nicht ansehen, wenn ich keine Zeit hätte”, ging der Besichtigung voraus, meinen Protest zur Zensur habe ich deshalb erst im Nachhinein anbringen können. Ein Lächeln war die Antwort, “Ah so? Ist das wirklich so, was, nur 12 Sekunden? Ja, ich habe davon gehört, sind ja nur 12 Sekunden, sehr kurz, nicht wahr? Zensur habt ihr doch auch im Westen?” Dieser Satz: “Ich habe davon gehört”, ist eine dieser ominösen Bemerkungen, die verschleiern soll, wer “Das Moral-Kommitee” ist.

Der weite Bogen von: “Die Repression im Iran kennt keine Grenzen…” zu…”Das musste jetzt auch der Schweizer Videomacher Jurg Davatz erfahren” ist mir zu ungenau.

Die sowietstyle Diktatur ist nicht etabliert, der innere Überwachungsstaat, die Kontrolle der Famili

Shopkeeper in the Bazar – Cucumbers like Bullets

e durch eigene Spitzel, die anders denkende Familienmitglieder an den Staat verraten, ist nicht in Funktion. Es gibt in Iran keinen Archipel Gulag wie in der damaligen Sovietunion, wo Millionen von Menschen zu Tode gekommen sind. Das ist Repression ohne Grenzen.

Könnte man in der WELTWOCHE nicht einen grösseren Artikel daraus machen mit einem Interview? Zu oft wird das Thema Iran mit politisch-religiösem, voreingenommenem Clichedenken  abgehandelt.

Auch aus folgendem Grund wäre es angezeigt, einen grösseren Artikel zu schreiben: Ahmadinejad holt sich mit seinen Auftritten und den Reaktionen der Staatschefs und der internationalen Presse in der Öffentlichkeit die Zustimmung von Millionen von Menschen in Südamerika, Arabien und Südostasien. Seine Auftritte sind ein beliebtes  Melodrama für die, welche Groll und Missgunst gegen Amerika und im weiteren Sinn gegen den Westen hegen. Für diese Menschen ist es nicht so wichtig, was er sagt, sondern DASS und WIE er es sagt, dass er tüchtig in die politischen Waden beisst. Melodrama! Gerade damit kann er seine angeschlagene Position im Inland aufwerten. Ahmadinejad wird dadurch zum starken Mann für Arme, Analphabeten, Kleinhändler und einen Teil der aufstrebenden Mittelklasse in Iran und vielen anderen Ländern. Wäre es nicht angezeigt, diese verhängnisvolle Verquickung zur Sprache zu bringen?

prison for People with Diploma

I am on the road with my driver

Ali my driver

into the hills of Tehran. Suddenly he opens the window:“Look, this is prison for People with diploma.“ I turn around “you mean for intellectuals? Yes for artists, journalists, all bad people from university.“ Then he continues with a mischievous look: “This is prison for Kharrubi and Mousavi!“ I gasp for air. “And your President?“ Ali shifts gear, we ascend steeply. “My President is very good man, because he is very poor, not have Mercedes before, not have villa in center of City, he has poor background, he understands country people, they like him, he is kind, he takes money from rich people and gives to the poor. We have 30% poor people and 8% illiterates. He is good for the country! When Katami was President, he was nice man but done nothing for the poor. The cities are problem for my President, 70% in Tehran not like him, all cities are like that but cities are not the country! He keeps driving uphill to the cable car above Tehran. The cable car is only running on weekends (Thursday/Friday). We have a gorgeous view of the 14 mio. Megacity.

CENSORED!

HUMUS for HAMAS was CENSORED between 26:48 till 27:00! 12 seconds have been cut of from the original film by the censor of “The 11th MOQAVEMAT International Film Festival“ in Teheran.

Sequence censored by Committee to protect Public Morality

CENSORED Like Eve made from the Hips of Adam

The sequence shows Palestinian boys burying one of their friends on the Gaza Beach.

Sequence censored by the Committee to protect Public Morality

CENSORED Only the Head sticking out

Only the head sticking out of the sand.

Sequence censored by the Committee to protect Public Morality

CENSORED Engaging with the Female Body

They fit him with female-like curves, carefully shaping the breasts and getting very excited about the result. Sand games for boys

Sequence censored by the Committee to protect Public Morality

CENSORED 5 Boys take Care...

who lack the real contact.   I was not told, that the film was liable to censorship.

Sequence censored by the Committee to protect Public Morality

CENSORED ...getting very excited about sandy Eve

I never imagined something like that could happen! I sat with two of my filmmaker friends and only one other spectator in a theatre of 90 seats, ready to show them the funny clip. In vain as I found out. The 11th MOQAVEMAT had censored 12 seconds of 52 minutes movie. The film was fitted with farsi subtitles going into great detail but nobody attended the film.   Of course we discussed this at every meal. I was even told I didn’t have to see my movie if I didn’t want to, that I was not obliged to attend. But I wanted to see Humus for Hamas with Farsi subtitles and have questions asked from the audience!

It happened to all of us: No attendance. Did they not inform the wider public about the international participation or did the moviegoers boycott government organized film activities? How come then that Iranian movies had full house and a staircase higher in the same building the foreign films were running in front of nobody? Our interpreters were clearly embarrassed and the organizers didn’t show up to face our questions.

Let’s call them HILLARY and Adriano…

HILLARY and Adriano came to the Film Festival as Director of a film and Partner of a Filmmaker. As they arrived independently, not related with each other, they hardly talked to anybody. I thought they may have a jet lag or suffer from some other inconveniences, flying long hours and arriving in the best of early morning sleep, joining “Das Fähnlein der Aufrechten“ at the breakfast table. But I was proven wrong. As they were attentive readers of  the international Press such as newspapers and carefully following the TV News they assumed that behind every letter of A-h-m-a-d-i-n-e-d-j-a-d were hiding two spies. They arrived in a preventive, paranoid mood, expecting a worst case scenario which also was supported by their own friends at home.

And yes, I had experienced the same when I told my friends and colleagues that I would go to “11th MOQAVEMAT International Film Festival“ in Tehran with a film of mine.

11th MOQAVEMAT International Film Festival

Some asked me if I had a bodyguard with me, others warned me to keep my my mouth shut. One wrote in an email: Hallo Jürg, wem glaubst du hilfst du damit ausser deinem Ego? Others were afraid, I would land in prison. A friend of mine even mentioned the case of two persons who had participated in a similar event a year ago in Iran. They obviously had felt being used by the Iranian media and upon return were criticized and stripped of their self respect in an article of a well known swiss newspaper relating to their participation. He warned me indirectly and feared I could loose “Kopf und Kragen“. Others felt pity, “Does Jürg really have to do that?“

Of course I had to go to Iran. What was my greater worry: Israeli bombs falling on the Nuclear Reactors in Esfahan,

Iran's Nuclear Plant at Esfahan

Regisseur Panahi in Iran zu sechs Jahren Haft  verurteilt

Regisseur Panahi in Iran zu sechs Jahren Haft verurteilt

Natanz and Qom or me getting otherwise in trouble? It was none of both. What really cost me the first five minutes of my sleep at night was the following: What was I going to do, in case my film HUMUS for HAMAS got a prize? What was I going to do with that money? Give it to charity? Refuse the prize?

Hand it over to the Iranian Directors whose projects were cut the other day and had goverment funding refused or got imprisoned like Jafar Panahi or Mohammed Rasulof?

Iranische Filmemacher zu Haft verurteilt

Or get drunk? Not so easy in Iran, you have to have very good friends to get liquor. Going on a shopping spree? Well, 95% of all the goods in the shops in Tehran are “Made in China“ – I had just returned from that great land and had bought more than I could carry home… .

Der langen Rede kurzer Sinn: I was the only one of the foreign filmmakers who did not get a prize! And now I go to bed and enjoy the first five minutes of my sleep again!

Als Bettgeschichten lese ich noch: Headlines IRAN NEWS September 25, 2010

  • Enemy has become weaker than before
  • Russia scrapping S-300 Missiles to Iran
  • Thyssen Krupp halting its Iran Business
  • Turkey: Iran-Sanctions Ban on Bank Transactions is “MISTAKE“
  • Iran hails Anti-Israel UN Resolution
  • Hamas detains “MANY“ suspected Israeli Spies in Gaza
  • Ahmadinejad calls for Scrapping of Veto Power in Security Council
  • Nobody can harm Tehran – Havanna Ties

But Mohammad worked wonders

Dear family and friends,
you remember HUMUS for HAMAS? The only film that exists about the first local election in the Palestine Territories, the election rally in Beit Lahia and the elections in Rafah the following day. It marked the beginning of the rise of HAMAS and at the same time the demise of Yassir Arafat’s FATAH movement. HAMAS, at that time, was just better organized,  winning the hearts of the people with popular welfare programs. There was an authentic urge in the Gaza Strip, to do away with the all pervasive corruption and cronyism of the powerful few that took over after Arafat’s death. The people in the Gaza Strip were enthused to be able to vote for an alternative. For a minute or two, let’s say for some long weeks, the main enemy had ceased to be on the other side of the border. It all had turned into a vote for a better future instead of more of the same. Suddenly, the enemy was within the system. For the very first time, people had a choice without guns, they could promote change by putting their finger in red ink. For many Palestinians it was just mind boggling – as it was for me too – that change could come with a fingerprint. Men and women of all ages, handycapped and disabled, so many went to register and vote. HUMUS for HAMAS captured  that moment when people decided that red ink on their finger was better than blood. I was there with my camera, shooting from morning to evening. And because four eyes see more than two, I hired a

Mohammad worked Wonders

young Palestinian as a second cameraman from a local TV Station in Gaza City to come with me.

Some weeks ago, as I prepared my bag to go to Greece, I had an email on my desk, inviting me to present HUMUS for HAMAS at the 11th MOQAVEMAT Intenational Film Festival in Tehran from 20-24 September 2010. Time was short, just one day before my departure, Mohammad, the director from the Festival told me to send them a DVD copy to Tehran immediatly and gave me the code for DHL whose courier picked it up some hours later at their expense. To get a visum for Iran is no easy matter these days. But when you sit in a small fisher village in the East of the Peloponnes with only one old passport foto and unable to sign the visa application it looks remote.On top of it they told me it takes at least 3 weeks to get the required visum number from the Foreign Ministry in Tehran and I had only one week left.

 

 

But Mohammad worked wonders, within a few days he mailed me the code with which I had to apply  for the visum in Bern, Switzerland. A couple of  thousand km away from Bern and my visum I contacted Riahi Travel in Zurich and asked if Mr. Riahi could work another wonder. Well he said, times were short of wonders but he would do his very best. I scanned my old and crumpled passport foto with my iPhone 4 and mailed it to him. I guess, I don’t have to continue, Mohammad, Mr Riahi and the Iranian Embassy worked many more wonders… and I’m on my flight to the 11th MOQAVEMAT Film Festival in Tehran as an invited filmmaker with HUMUS for HAMAS.

moqavemat filmfestival TEHERAN, IRAN

HUMUS for HAMAS is shown at the moqavemat filmfestival 20.-24. Sept. 2010 in TEHERAN, IRAN

http://www.moqavematfilmfest.ir/English.aspx

http://www.moqavematfilmfest.ir/Enviewdetailnews.aspx?id=241

Click image to enlarge

http://davaz.com/en/works/movies/

IRAN – Kopftuchzwang

Im Tram 9 der Zürcher Verkehrsbetriebe habe ich dem kurzweiligen und informativen “20minuten.ch” entnommen, dass am 29./30. Dezember 2008 sowie zwischen 5. und 10. Januar 2009 auf SF 10 vor 10 ein Film von Susanne Wille zum Thema “Wie fühlen sich Frauen mit und ohne Kopftuch in Iran” ausgestrahlt wird. Das hochaktuelle Thema, das die mutige Susanne head-on angegangen hat, habe ich in meinem Dokumentarfilm “KOPFTUCH, KAFFEEHAUS und PARISER” Iranerinnen gestellt, allerdings nicht, indem ich sie über ihre Gefühle zum Kopftuchzwang befragt habe, sondern was sie dahinter, unter dem Kopftuch denken, sagen oder verheimlichen. So sehr wie das Kopftuch nach aussen das Gesicht verhüllt, so weit offen, gänzlich zugänglich und direkt spricht unter dem Kopftuch, das unter Strafandrohung Pflicht ist, die Iranerin in mein Mikrophon. “Darf man an der Universität einen Freund haben? Wo schlafen junge Iranerinnen mit ihrem Freund? Verwendet sie einen Pariser? Was würde passieren, wenn es die Familie wüsste? Fragen über Fragen und keine wurde zurückgewiesen. Ich hatte vielmehr das Gefühl, dass Frauen und Männer begierig darauf waren, dass ich weiterfragte.

Antworten auf meine Fragen und vieles mehr findest Du in meinem Dok’film CHADOR, CONDOM, COFFEESHOP

ready for viewing and download

oder mit deutschen Untertitlen KOPFTUCH, PARISER, KAFFEEHAUS

ready for viewing and download