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IRAN: Supreme leader Khamenei gives Hollywood a big thumbs down

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No popcorn thrillers for Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran's highest spiritual and political authority blasted Hollywood on Monday during a meeting with artists and directors, engaged in the production of the television serial "Hazrat Yousuf," a tale from the Koran that is airing on Iran's state-owned television.

Khamenei said Hollywood epitomizes political interference in the arts. In Iran, all movies must be approved by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance.

Hollywood films, he said, are politically charged propaganda with artistic veneers. 

"Most of the movie-making companies in Hollywood are under the political influence of an interconnected system which is behind American politics and even at times goes far beyond governments," he said. 

YosefPoster It was not clear which movies he had in mind. In recent years, Iranian film festivals have often featured the movies of director Michael Moore, who has been critical of American culture, foreign policy and business. Iranian television regularly broadcasts American antiwar movies, such as Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket."

On the other hand, Iranians have often criticized Hollywood movies, including "300," which depicted ancient Persians as effeminate beasts. Iranians said that Hollywood serves as a propaganda arm for U.S. policy. 

But as he spoke against Hollywood's role in pushing political agendas, Khamenei urged Iranian directors to do the same thing.

According to official Iranian news websites, he called filmmaking an effective technique in influencing thoughts and achieving political objectives, and urged Iranian directors to incorporate the Islamic Republic's official ideologies into their work to spread the message of the 1979 revolution. 

Nowadays, "there are various means such as sex to entice the spectators," he said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. But "Hazrat Yousuf," which "focused on piety and chastity," was widely watched in Iran "as well as in some foreign countries. Democracy and religion has been combined in Iran which should be demonstrated through arts for the world people."

He dismissed Western prizes such as the Nobel or Oscars. "Such awards do not have any value and artists should never work to make movies with the purpose of winning such prizes," he said.

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Top, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (center). Credit: Islamic Republic News Agency

Below: The DVD cover of the Khamenei-approved Iranian television serial "Hazrat Yousuf."

Comments () | Archives (6)

He's a very wise and knowledgable man who understands the influence a western styled Hollywood can invoke on public opinion and politics. By maintaining an Islamic measure as a guidline, the influence of the religion remains unchanged. But more importantly the film industry would be forced to evolve around these set fundamentals. We will eventually see a new type of film industry in the muslim world, unlike those in India, Europe, Nigeria, or the USA. Nontheless, it will be something the Iranians could have as their own. Good for them...
Also, lets not forget that eight of the top US film industries happen to be run by people of jewish identity, all a while characters of arabs and muslim identity being repeatedly villified in an unbalanced representation in pretty much all films since the creation of Israel. This may also have something to do with it...

I'm not Iranian, man ahl e Irland am, but that first post by cully is gibberish! Khomeini in 'English gent' clothing? Up until when exactly? I don't think his colleagues in the Qom madrassa would have been too fond of him! During his exile in Turkey, Iraq or France perhaps?

The basic thrust of your argument is fine, that the mullahs have thieved untold billions from the people of Iran mainly through 'companies' which are owned by the IGRC. The IGRC controls approximately 80% of the wealth in Iran, directly and indirectly. If you're going to make such an argument (not a very difficult thing to do), then don't make an 'amadán' (if you're really Irish you'll know what that means!!!) out of yourself.

Slán go fóill, Khoda Háfez

is he pathetic or what?

he must just keep his mouth and think about his next. They have only Films from HollyWood in Airlines. What a disgrace for this regim.
the world must replace those Mullahs and RGC also Basij from iran, as they brought them from and replaceed the Shah.
they want to keep People with their Godless theories pur and uneducated to make them believe in fucking useless yackety-yak

Relax! I don't think you know anything about Iran (if you do, then your argument is completely disingenuous) and I am sure you are not even Irish. I know which ethnic group you belong to! But I don't dare say it lest I will be labeled ...

So the IRGC has turned to being pirates just as low as Somalia has, next they will ask for a ransom are ease of sanctions (the same thing) what a awful country Iran has become glad I’m Irish and live in peace with our neighbours, and I Know must Iranians want to do the same somewhere about 80% want normal relations but the fixers who have stole Iran only want Oil money and at the same time pretend to be Muslims they are not they are sheep in wolfs clothing Khomeini was never a Muslim he dressed as a English gent until he realised he could steal Iran and make it his and now the elite in Iran want it all regardless of what the people want they kill rape murder anyone who disagrees


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