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Culture feature Film

How Iranian Cinema Continues to Flourish Despite Government Crackdowns

Authoritarian governments have always feared the power of film and its creators. Iran is no exception.  On the 14th of October 2022 director, Mani Haghighi’s passport was confiscated after he was banned from boarding his flight to London. He was meant to appear at the BFI London Film Festival (LFF) for the screening of his […]

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Hope still exists for Iran

CW: Mention of sexual assualt. A couple of weeks ago, Mahsa Amini was visiting Iran’s capital city, Tehran. Whilst there, she bumped into the Iranian state’s ‘morality police’ who took her into custody for not wearing her hijab in an ‘appropriate’ way. A few days later, she was fighting for her life in an intensive […]

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Culture Literature

Salman Rushdie Stabbed At Literary Event

On August 12, the acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie was stabbed multiple times at a literary event in Chautauqua, New York by 24-year-old Hadi Matar. The attack appears to have been in connection to the fatwa issued against Rushdie after the publication of The Satanic Verses, which has been embroiled in controversy for more than thirty […]

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Culture Literature

Iran’s Book Market Crisis

The Iranian book market is perishing as US sanctions hit home. Tehran’s nuclear programme has long been contested, and in 2022 the book-lovers of Iran are suffering the cultural consequences of global politics. The “newly” implemented sanctions are a product of Trump’s crackdown in 2018 when the former POTUS made the abrupt decision to leave […]

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Johnson’s litany of failures

December saw the conclusion of Richard Ratcliffe’s 21-day hunger strike, camped outside Parliament to protest the continued detention of his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, in Iran. A barely disguised hostage situation which the British government has done pathetically little to resolve, especially given that the current Prime Minister is largely responsible for her continuing imprisonment. A […]

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How has Iran dealt with the coronavirus pandemic?

Of all the countries hit by the coronavirus, Iran could probably do with it the least. Facing harsh US sanctions since President Trump announced he was pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Nuclear Deal) in 2018, Iran’s economy was in bad shape. In 2019, the International Monetary fund estimated its economy […]

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The UK’s paradoxical stance on Iran

Just as we thought relations with Iran had peaked at some of their worst for years, Iran went and arrested the UK ambassador to the nation: claiming participation in a candlelight vigil and more pertinently an “illegal” protest surrounding the shooting down of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 – something the ambassador strongly refutes participating […]

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Film

Iranian cinema returns to Edinburgh as tribute to female directors

Iran has one of the most unique national cinemas of the world, from the early silent era to the New Wave of the sixties to contemporary filmmaking. The very presence of Iranian movies at major film festivals—Berlin, Cannes, and Venice—has undergone a meteoric rise, as exemplified by Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (1997), Asghar Farhadi’s […]