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Kaurismaki boycotts NY Film Festival

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As a follow-up to this earlier post by Eric Olsen, here’s how the NY Film Festival controversy has been continuing:

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, considered the finest of the current generation of film-makers in the Islamic country, was denied an American visa to attend the film festival. And in protest another award-wining film-maker, Finland’s Aki Kaurismaki, announced that he too would not attend the festival. […] Kaurismaki’s statement, released on September 30 by the film festival, expressed his anguish at the current US policies and alluded to the Bush administration’s expressed desire to conduct a war against Iraq.
“Not with anger (which never brought anything good), but with deep sorrow, I received the news that Abbas Kiarostami, a friend of mine and one of the world’s most peace-loving persons, is prevented from participating in the New York Film Festival, because being a citizen of Iran he was refused a visa,” the statement said.
“Under the circumstances I too am forced to cancel my participation — for if the present Government of the United States of America does not want an Iranian, they will hardly have any use for a Finn either. We do not have the oil.
“However, what concerns me more is that if Abbas Kiarostami is being treated like this, what will happen to nameless persons? I consider the Geneva Convention as the last hope of mankind and as a private citizen of Finland, I accuse the Government of the United States of violating it.”

Full article here.

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About James Russell