By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Call for support to Bahman Ghobadi upon the arrest of his brother

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival wishes to express its fervent support to Kurdish Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi and his brother, Behrouz Ghobadi, who was recently arrested and is currently detained by the Iranian authorities.

Bahman Ghobadi, one of the honored directors during the 53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which was concluded 10 days ago, has made a public appeal to the Iranian government for the immediate release of his brother, who he believes is detained illegally. In his protest letter, the award-winning filmmaker, who has been a self-exile since 2009, states: “My younger brother, Behrouz Ghobadi, disappeared more than two weeks ago, and I have learned that he has been detained by Iranian authorities and accused of acting against national security…He has never been involved in any political or opposition activities.  He was interested in film, served as a production manager in some of my movies and directed a few short films. We are extremely worried about Behrouz, especially because of his chronic health issues. We ask that the Iranian authorities release him without delay.”

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival condemns any form of violation of human rights and declares its full solidarity to Bahman and Behrouz Ghobadi, hoping for the quickest and most successful resolution of the case.

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“There are critics who see their job as to be on the side of the artist, or in a state of imaginative sympathy or alliance with the artist. I think it’s important for a critic to be populist in the sense that we’re on the side of the public. I think one of the reasons is, frankly, capitalism. Whether you’re talking about restaurants or you’re talking about movies, you’re talking about large-scale commercial enterprises that are trying to sell themselves and market themselves and publicize themselves. A critic is, in a way, offering consumer advice. I think it’s very, very important in a time where everything is commercialized, commodified, and branded, where advertising is constantly bleeding into other forms of discourse, for there to be an independent voice kind of speaking to—and to some extent on behalf of—the public.”
~ A. O. Scott On One Role Of The Critic

“Every night, we’d sit and talk for a long, long time and talk about the process and I knew he was very, very intrigued about what could be happening. Then of course, one of the fascinating things he told me about was how he had readers who were reading for him that never knew it was Stanley Kubrick. So if he heard of a novel, he would send it out to people. I think he did it through newspaper ads at the time. And he would send it out to people and ask for a kind of synopsis or a critique of the novel. And he would read those. And it was done anonymously. But he said there were housewives and there were barristers and all sorts of people doing that. And I thought, yeah, that’s a really good way to open up the possibilities. Because otherwise, you’re randomly looking, walking through a bookstore or an airport. I said, “How many people are doing this?” It was about 30 people.”
~ George Miller’s Conversations With Kubrick