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'Focus on Freedom' Screening Supports Iranian Filmmaker Panahi

March 16, 2011

“Even in prison, Panahi creates, and even as he is released, he remains imprisoned.” So writes Shiva Balaghi, a fellow at Brown’s Cogut Center for the Humanities, in an essay inspired by last weekend’s screening of the work of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi at the Watson Institute.

Organizing the screening of The White Balloon as part of the Brown Afghanistan Working Group and a related film series, Balaghi also spoke on a panel following the film with Huss Banai, a Brown PhD candidate in politics, and Benjamin Hyman ’11.

Panahi was recently released from prison, pending appeal, Balaghi reports in her blog post on the Jadaliyya webpost, though he has also been banned by an Iranian court from writing scripts, making films, traveling abroad, and speaking with any media for 20 years.

The next screening in the series will be of John Huston's 1975 classic The Man Who Would Be King, on Tuesday, March 22, at 7pm. In this adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling short story, Michael Caine and Sean Connery play British adventure-seekers who decide to escape the constraints of British India and try their fortunes in a remote region of present-day Afghanistan. A panel will follow, with Brown Associate History Professor Vazira Zamindar and Watson Institute Visiting Fellow Paula Chakravartty.