The decision by General Security to deny Iranian film-maker Nader Davoodi entry into Lebanon and ban his documentary “the red, the white, and the green” from screening at the Beirut International Film Festival is a sobering reminder that in many respects we still live in a police state.
And in this case, the pro-Hezbollah General Security is acting in line with its regional patron Iran in banning Davoodi’s film which focuses on the violent events of the last three weeks leading up to the June 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This ban also comes 4 months after Hana Makhamalbaf’s film ‘Green Days’ which also addressed the the 2009 post-election Iranian uprising, was stopped from being screened in Beirut.
Two previous posts on the Tajaddod Youth Blog (Part 1 & Part 2) have examined General Security’s ambigous and often illegal censorship practices, and the question is: what action should be taken now? How do we face a state police apparatus which blindly does the bidding of an armed political party backed by a powerful regional player? How can independent film festivals and distributors who receive little or no government support risk going up against such a powerful duo?