Mahnaz Mohammadi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mahnaz Mohammadi,Iranian documentary filmmaker

Mahnaz Mohammadi (born 1 January 1975) is an Iranian filmmaker and women's rights activist.

Film career[edit]

Mahnaz Mohammadi wrote and directed her first film in 2003, "Women Without Shadows" produced by Amir Samavati. This film, depicting the lives of homeless and abandoned women in a state-run shelter, has been shown and awarded in several international film festivals.

After that, she wrote, directed and produced herself various documentaries, including "Travelogue" another award-winning film. Shot in the train between Tehran and Ankara, the director met and questioned passengers about the reasons that lead them to leave their country. This film was shown in 2010 at the event "A Day in Tehran" created by the Cinematheque in Paris, with Mohammadi in attendance. Since the publishing of this film, Iranian authorities have refused her to leave the country, including after she was invited to the Cannes film festival for the film "Wedding Ephemerals" directed by Reza Serkanian, in which she plays the main character.

Mahnaz Mohammadi has also contributed to famous filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's documentary "We Are Half the Iran's Population" portraying the demands of Iranian women in the disputed presidential elections of 2009, which gave Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office. In 2011 the film was screened at the Viennese film festival "This Human World."

Legal Issues[edit]

Her arrest on 26 June 2011 was the third since 2007. She was arrested for the first time in March 2007 along with 32 other women's rights activists while peacefully protesting the trial of five of her fellow women's rights activists in front of a Teharan court.[citation needed] She stayed in jail for 3 weeks. Mohammadi was also arrested in August 2009 at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery as she laid a wreath on the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year-old woman who was shot and killed by a sniper during the crackdowns on protests against the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She was arrested with a lot of people including famous director Jafar Panahi They were released after one day.

After her release on bail on 28 July 2011, also due to international pressure, Mahnaz Mohammadi continued under close state observation by Iranian intelligence, her passport was withheld by the court and the ban to work as a filmmaker has remained in place since 2009. Her home was repeatedly searched by intelligence, and her personal items, work equipment and film material have been regularly confiscated. Her heath has severely deteriorated during her last detention.[1]

On Saturday, June 7, 2014, the Iranian women's rights activist and filmmaker was again arrested. She has been sentenced to five years in prison for "endangering national security" and "propaganda against the Iranian regime."[2] Iranian authorities have accused her of working for the BBC, a charge which apparently carries the assumption of espionage in the Iranian legal system. Mohammadi denies ever having worked with the network, and has stated that her interrogators tried pressuring her into admitting she had in exchange for leniency.[3]

At the 64th Cannes Film Festival, filmmaker Costa-Gavras read a letter that Mohammadi sent from Tehran: "I am a woman and a film maker, two reasons sufficient to be treated like a criminal in this country"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iranische Filmemacherin erneut in Haft". derstandard.at. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Iranische Filmemacherin erneut in Haft". derstandard.at. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (18 June 2014). "Iranian film-maker jailed for five years for 'collaborating with the BBC'". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2014.