Director Masud Bakhshi withdraws from Sundance festival over U.S. enmity to Iran 

January 10, 2020 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Iranian director Masud Bakhshi has withdrawn from the Sundance Film Festival in protest of the hostile U.S. actions against Iran, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday. 

He was scheduled to attend the festival in Park City, Utah, on January 23 to promote his latest movie “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness”. However, in a letter sent to the festival, he asked the organizers to exclude his film from the festival’s schedule.      

The withdrawal was announced following the assassination of Quds Force commander Lieutenant General Martyr Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. military attack in Baghdad by Trump’s order last week.

“Under these circumstances, I won’t attend your festival and I will stay with the people who have been suffering from sanctions, pressures, discriminations, deprivations and prohibitions imposed by the crazy warmongers for years,” Bakhshi wrote in the letter. 

“Give my best regards to Mr. Robert Redford. He once called the president of the U.S. a dictator who attacks everything your country stands for. Iranians understand that, I hope Americans do too,” he added. 

“We live in a dark era that needs the light of culture. I wish your festival could shine a light in this darkness,” the letter concluded.

“Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” is about a young woman, Maryam, who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband, Nasser. Iranian law allows for the victim’s family to forgive her and spare her life, so Maryam’s fate will be decided by Nasser’s daughter, Mona, on the country’s most popular televised reality show. 

In front of millions of viewers during Yalda, the winter solstice celebration, Maryam and Mona discover that forgiveness can be difficult as they relive the past.

The Sundance Film Festival, the largest U.S. independent film event, will take place from January 23 to February 2.

Photo: Iranian director Masud Bakhshi in an undated photo.


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