At a time when Iranian cinema is once again being heralded for its artistry and universal appeal — with the release of Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation” and expatriate Rafi Pitts’ “The Hunter” — the country’s Culture Ministry is taking a controversial move in closing down the independent Iranian House of Cinema. According to the Associated Press, artists say political reasons are behind the decision.
The report also noted that the House of Cinema, the country’s motion picture guild, threatened to boycott the state-organized annual Fajr International Film Festival, over threats to close the House, charging the campaign against the center is politically motivated. Hard-liners have repeatedly criticized the House for adopting liberal stands contrary to government cultural policies, according to the AP.
“We are ready to appear in court and we are hopeful,” said the House of Cinema managing director Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur, according to a report in the Tehran Times, who claimed the closing was illegal and vowed to fight it.