BREAKING NEWS - ISLAMIC REPUBLIC CONFIRMS FILMMAKER ARRESTED

Brian McCaskill (brian@facets.org)
Fri, 31 Aug 2001 15:05:12 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Ray Privett" <ray@facets.org>
To: "Ray Privett" <ray@facets.org>
Subject: BREAKING NEWS - ISLAMIC REPUBLIC CONFIRMS FILMMAKER ARRESTED
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 11:31:44 -0500
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BREAKING NEWS

FILMMAKER DETAINED IN IRAN

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC CONFIRMS MILANI ARRESTED FOR SUPPORTING FACTIONS "WAGING
WAR GAINST GOD"

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2001, 11:20AM CST

For further information, contact Ray Privett of Facets Multimedia at 1 800
331 6197 or ray@facets.org.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) confirmed today the arrest of Ms.
Tahmineh Milani, one of Iran's leading filmmakers. Tehran's Revolutionary
Court says Ms. Milani has been detained for her support of
"counterrevolutionary grouplets," in The Hidden Half, the most recent film
she has written and directed.

Ms. Milani, known for her outspoken feminist positions in both films and
public appearances, was arrested either last Sunday, August 26, 2001, or
last Monday, August 27, 2001.

The Court says Ms. Milani has supported "mohareb" factions waging war
against God. "Based on the latest investigations, she has been inclined to
an outlawed mohareb grouplet and judicial proceedings are still under way."

The Court adds: "She has abused arts [sic] as a tool for actions which will
suit the taste of the counterrevolutionary and mohareb grouplets."

The Court did not clarify when Ms. Milani was arrested, but the IRNA cited
sources claiming that she was jailed on Sunday. Early sources in Iran
speaking with representatives of Facets Multimedia on condition of anonymity
indicated that Ms. Milani was arrested on Sunday, August 26, 2001.
Subsequent reports from the BBC, CNN, and elsewhere, however, indicated that
she was arrested on Monday, August 27, 2001.

An Associated Press news item picked up by The New York Times, The
Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and others, quotes Iranian filmmaker
Bahram Beizaei to confirm early reports that the arrest was motivated by two
factors. One is that The Hidden Half depicts forces struggling against the
Islamic Revolution in too sympathetic a light. The other is that a recent
interview by Ms. Milani with a newspaper unsettled powerful figures in the
government.

The AP item adds a third motivation for Ms. Milani's arrest: a speech she
made in New York City last month criticizing the Iranian establishment's
restrictions on women.

Based on a contemporary novel, The Hidden Half depicts a married woman's
memories of an affair in the early 1980s - just after the 1979 Islamic
Revolution.

Representatives of Facets Multimedia are working to find out more details
regarding Ms. Milani's arrest. Further reports will follow as the situation
becomes clearer.

Tahmineh Milani is one of Iran's few established women filmmakers. Other
films she has written and directed include Two Women (1999), What Else is
New? (1992), and The Legend of a Sigh (1991) in addition to The Hidden Half
(2001).

Related items:

Islamic Republic News Agency Press Release:
http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/09143340.htm

New York Times News Item:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Iran-Director-Arrested.html
?searchpv=aponline

Tahmineh Milani at the Internet Movie Database:
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Milani,+Tahmineh

Farabi Cinema Foundation catalog listing for The Hidden Half:
http://www.fcf-ir.com/films/feature_films/neemeh-ye-penhan.htm



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