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Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof: "I am boycotted"

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The Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, on May 27, 2017 during the Cannes Film Festival. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

Mohammad Rasoulof never loses his sense of humor. While he has just appealed his one-year prison sentence for "Propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran On Monday, August 5, the Iranian filmmaker laughs aloud when asked if he is not afraid to aggravate his case by talking with a media player. ™ Ã © abroad. "But here in Iran, nobody wants to talk to me, explains without bitterness the film, awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 for An integrated man. I am boycotted. Nobody dares to publish my words. And they're right, because they know the power of the media, and I am a speaker. AT"

A prominent Iranian filmmaker, Mohammad Rasoulof has also been banned from leaving the country for two years and engaging in any political or social activity. "The maximum of punishment for the charge against me"says the 47-year-old filmmaker.

In September 2017, while returning from the Telluride Film Festival in the United States, his passport was confiscated at the airport. Since then, he has been repeatedly questioned by the guards of the revolution, the main armed force of the country, which has its own intelligence service, independent of the Ministry of Intelligence. The interrogations focused on the theme of his latest film: the story of a man who decides to attack a corrupt private company that drives villagers to sell their property. "I tell the story of a village, but it's obviously applicable to the whole country.", explains the filmmaker.

Read also Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof sentenced to one year in prison

Conditional freedom

That is what the Iranian authorities did not like. He was also reproached for showing in his films too many portraits of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Rouhollah Khomeini, and the current supreme guide, Ali Khamenei. "I suggested that they walk with me between the front door and the office where my interrogation took place, so that they see that this is the real thing," he says from Tehran. During the long hours of interrogation, scenes with cinematographic potential were not rare. "Another time, my interrogators gave me a cup of tea. â € œWood ! There is no poisonâ €, I have said in a tone as serious as mocking. ", recalls Mohammad Rasoulof.