The Accordion (2010) is the last short movie by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who saw many of his works being censored. The film is part of a long feature project supported by the UN, gathering seven international directors around the Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”
Jafar Panahi about his film:
“It is the story of humankind’s materialistic need to survive in a pretentious religion. In it, a boy is prevented from playing for reasons of religious prohibition, which he accepts in order to survive. But the main character of the film is the girl or, perhaps, in my view, the symbol of the next generation. In her ideal world she realises man’s need for survival and decides to avoid the violence and share her small income with someone else who is also in need.”
A keen supporter of opposition movements, Panahi was arrested in March 2010 and sentenced to a six years of jail sentence along with director Mohammad Rasoulof in December 2010. Panahi and Rasoulof were preparing a movie inspired by the 2009 pro-democracy movement together. The two were also banned from shooting movies and writing scripts for twenty years, as well as leaving the country or getting in contact with local or international media.
They were released from jail on bail on different dates, in may 2010 for Panahi, and on march for Rasoulof, and are currently under house arrest waiting for the appeal decision on their case. Despite this dramatic situation they‘ve both released a new movies which premiered at the Cannes festival this year. This Is Not A Film by Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb was part of the official selection, while Rasoulof was awarded the best director prize Un Certain Regard Reward for Best Director for his Goodbye. Since 2009, the Iranian authorities have tremendously increased their pressure on the film industry as well as other artistic sectors.