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WAN Event/ Symposium of short documentaries from Iran

Report of Symposium of the documentaries  produced by Iranian Women Day 0ne, 4 November 2011  

Women Action Network of Amnesty International in collaboration with ICAVI celebrated the Iranian producers’ documentaries at Amnesty Human Rights Centre.

 The programme started with Mary Wright, WAN chairwoman giving an introduction. Then, Rouhi Shafii, ICAVI director talked about ICAVI’s annual events and also its ongoing activities throughout the year. She briefly talked about the films which were about to be screened.

Here is the full text:

 Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for coming to the screening of documentaries on Iran.

Mary talked about WAN. But I must add that we have also blog for WAN which is updated regularly. Please read it whenever you find time. Amnesty has also dedicated a blog to Iran: focus Iran which is updated regularly.

 Tonight, we will show 3 documentaries which were made by Iranian women who live far apart from each other.

These documentaries are not happy ones and I hope they do not disturb much. Unfortunately, rarely a piece of art, writing, poem, film and video that comes out of Iran or is about Iran tells a happy  story.

Our stories are the stories of pains and sufferings which had been inflicted on the Iranian people for the past 33 years.

Yet, we are hopeful people and that keeps us working towards the root causes of our problems. Subjects of the documentaries are linked to and at the same time separated from each other. At the end of the screening we will have a panel of some of the producers and our legal team who will answer your questions.

Our organisation International Coalition against Violence in Iran (I CAVI) is the only Iranian organisation which works exclusively on identifying various types of violence, the causes, consequences and damages to the society and ways to limit and ultimately eliminate it through knowledge of law, culture, tradition, beliefs and their practice and campaign to change the law as well as attitudes towards violence. 

Our website is operating in English and Persian. We have an online library where we collect materials on the subject. We regularly participate in conferences, seminars and campaign and highlight the issue of human rights or its abuse in Iran. Our associates and those who work with us carry out research projects and campaigns on various issues including child abuse in prison, honour killings, violence against women and state violence. We have stipulated many issues in our charter and will deal with each of them whenever possible. Education is our next goal and we are developing strategies of mass education in the near future through the internet.

We welcome your support in anyway, politically, socially, financially and logistically.

Tahnk you.

Don’t Bury My Heart, produced by Saba Vasefi had two separate episodes which spoke of one crucial aspect of the law of Ghesas (Retribution) in Iran. According to Islamic law if some one is murdered, the victim’s family are sanctioned to personally kill the murderer by hanging him/her. Campaigns around the issue focus on the issue of justice and not revenge. In both parts of Saba’s film, the victim’s family forgave the murderer which in itself was a grand gesture. Saba is a talented producer who has brought the essence of the inadequacy of law in Iran on the screen. The film was shocking for those who were not familiar with the Iranian justice system.  

Farah Shilandari’s film, In the Middle of Nowhere is a 3 part film which talks about problems women have had back home and then in exile. Due to time limit only the fist part of the film was screened.  A young lesbian musician who now lives in Sweden, speaks of her terror and traumas back in Iran. She talks of the ill-treatment by her school principle and the horror that her family might discover her sexuality. She talks of the liberation she found after she migrated to Sweden. Farah’s film catches the inner terror of these women and the way they reveal it once they are in safer environment.

  Alieh Motalebzadeh & Farideh Ghaeb produced a shocking documentary about the rising violence of Acid attacks on women as a way of revenge. The film screens the life of one victim who was a beautiful woman until acid was thrown on her be her father-in-law in revenge for divorcing his son. Masoumeh now, blind and in need of constant care and medical supervision sees her past through her son’s eyes who clicks on her photos and tells her of a life ruined by pure human malice.

Sab and Farah’s films will be archived in ICAVI library later.

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