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Open letter from Jafar Panahi in English and Farsi - On the occasion of the Opening of the 61st Berlinale

Jafar Panahi  Berlinale 2011 Opening Ceremony

 

Jafar Panahi Open Letter to Berlin Film Festival:


The world of a filmmaker is marked by the interplay between reality and dreams. The filmmaker uses reality as his inspiration, paints it with the color of his imagination, and creates a film that is a projection of his hopes and dreams.

The world of a filmmaker is marked by the interplay between reality and dreams. The filmmaker uses reality as his inspiration, paints it with the color of his imagination, and creates a film that is a projection of his hopes and dreams.
 
The reality is I have been kept from making films for the past five years and am now officially sentenced to be deprived of this right for another twenty years. But I know I will keep on turning my dreams into films in my imagination. I admit as a socially conscious filmmaker that I won’t be able to portray the daily problems and concerns of my people, but I won’t deny myself dreaming that after twenty years all the problems will be gone and I’ll be making films about the peace and prosperity in my country when I get a chance to do so again.
 
The reality is they have deprived me of thinking and writing for twenty years, but they can not keep me from dreaming that in twenty years inquisition and intimidation will be replaced by freedom and free thinking.
 
They have deprived me of seeing the world for twenty years. I hope that when I am free, I will be able to travel in a world without any geographic, ethnic, and ideological barriers, where people live together freely and peacefully regardless of their beliefs and convictions.
 
They have condemned me to twenty years of silence. Yet in my dreams, I scream for a time when we can tolerate each other, respect each other’s opinions, and live for each other.
 
Ultimately, the reality of my verdict is that I must spend six years in jail. I’ll live for the next six years hoping that my dreams will become reality. I wish my fellow filmmakers in every corner of the world would create such great films that by the time I leave the prison I will be inspired to continue to live in the world they have dreamed of in their films.
 
So from now on, and for the next twenty years, I’m forced to be silent. I’m forced not to be able to see, I’m forced not to be able to think, I’m forced not to be able to make films.
 
I submit to the reality of the captivity and the captors. I will look for the manifestation of my dreams in your films, hoping to find in them what I have been deprived of.

Open Letter from Jafar Panahi in Farsi

دنيای فيلمساز، دنيای گذر بين واقعيت و خيال است. فيلمساز از واقعيت الهام می گيرد، آن را به خيال خود در می آورد
و در انجام اين بازی واقعيت و خيال، فيلمی می سازد که شايد تصوير آرزوهايش باشد.
واقعيت اين است که مرا پنج سال گذشته بی حکم، و برای بيست سال آينده با حکم، از ساختن و کارگردانی هر نوع
فيلمی محروم کرده اند. اما می دانم در اين بيست سال، با خيال خود آرزوهايم را خواهم ساخت.
اعتراف می کنم من به عنوان يک فيلمساز که دغدغه های اجتماعی دارم، هر چند نم یتوانم تصويرگر محدوديتها،
معضلات و مشکلات روز مردم جامعه ام باشم، اما نمی توانم آرزو نکنم که پس از بيست سال تمامی اين مسائل از
جامعه ام رخت برنبسته باشد، تا آن گاه که مجال ساختن می يابم، تصويرگر رفاه، آرامش و آسايش مردم کشورم باشم.
واقعيت اين است که مرا بيست سال از فکر کردن، انديشيدن و نوشتن محروم کرده اند اما نمی توانم آرزو نکنم که پس
از بيست سال کنکاش عقايد در فضای آزاد انديشی محو نشده باشد.
مرا بيست سال از ديدن جهان محروم کرده اند. آرزويم اين است پس از بيست سال به جهان ی سفر کنم که هيچ
محدوديت جغرافيايی، نژادی، عقيدتی و حتی انسان ی نداشته باشد و در آن جهان انسانها با هر عقيده و انديشه و باور
بتوانند آزادانه و به دور از خشونت در کنار هم زندگی کنند.
مرا بيست سال به سکوت محکوم کرده اند. با اين حال در خيال خود زمانی را فرياد ميزنم که تحمل يکديگر را داشته
باشيم و پذيرای سخن هم گرديم، با هم بينديشيم و برای هم زندگی کنيم.
در نهايت، واقعيت حکم من اين است که بايد شش سال درون زندان بمانم. من در اين شش سال با خيال خود و به اميد
تحقّق آرزوهايم زنده خواهم ماند.
اميدوارم همکاران فيلمسازم در تمامی نقاط اين کره خاکی در اين شش سال خالق آثاری باشند که پس از بازگشت از
زندان، انگيزه زندگی در دنيای خيال آنها را داشته باشم.
پس از اين لحظه به بعد مجبورم برای بيست سال سکوت کنم، مجبورم نبينم، مجبورم نينديشم و مجبورم فيلم نسازم.
به واقعيت زندان و زندانبان تن می سپارم تا شايد آرزوهايم را روزی روزگاری در خيال شما بيابم. بيابم آنچه را که از
من دريغ کرده اند.

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 Very moving, what a tragedy to live in such a country where freedom in all its facets does not exist. USA and the Europeans made the biggest mistake in sending Khomeini to verthrow the Shah. The Iranians thought that he will bring them more freedom but they were duped and are still being duped. Let us hope that not in twenty but very soon they will get rid of those dictators like the Great People of Egypt and Tunisia. 
Three cheers to you Dear Mahmood, down with the dictators everywhere, East. West and North and South. Let us support the great people of Egypt and Tunisia so that others in similar positions being trampled down by dictators, will raise their heads and come forward en masse to oust these wily dictators
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