Stinging Iranian neo-realist fable The White Meadows, a devastating but oblique critique of theocracy, played Tribeca last year to rave reviews (including one from me) and has since traveled the country’s small festival circuit. But it’s unclear whether Mohammad Rasoulof’s movie will ever pick up domestic distribution, so you ought to take the chance to see it as part of MoMA’s Global Lens 2011 series lest you never get the chance again—the film screens tonight and Saturday afternoon—not just because it’s a great film, but because people risked and lost their liberty in order to make it.
Last year, the blogosphere was abuzz with news about Iranian director Jafar Panahi, arrested by the government there for subversive filmmaking. Less buzzed about was that Rasoulof was arrested alongside him. In December, both were sentenced to six-year prison terms, and a 20-year ban on making movies.
Which is to say: men are going to spend serious time behind bars, and have effectively surrendered their artistic careers, because they wanted the world to see their movies, including this one. (Panahi served as editor on White Meadows). This is your chance to honor their sacrifice—to do more than e-sign an e-petition.