Iranian movie theaters reopen with “Watching This Movie Is a Crime”

January 10, 2021 - 19:5

TEHRAN – Director Reza Zehtabchian’s debut movie “Watching This Movie Is a Crime” has reopened movie theaters across Tehran and several other cities after a lengthy closure of all cinemas and theaters in the country designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The film is about Amir, a religious man, whose pregnant wife loses her baby after being beaten by a drunken English-Iranian man. He files a lawsuit against the man, but the perpetrator is released based on political convenience.

The film won the Golden Barberry Award for the worst film participating in the 37th Fajr Film Festival in 2019.

The director of Iran’s Dramatic Arts Center Qader Ashena also said that since the transmission chain of the coronavirus has decreased and Tehran has turned from the high-risk red zone to orange and yellow, the theaters will also reopen.

He further noted that all the theaters can reopen in the yellow zone cities, adding that the theater troupes that are ready can begin their performances while other troupes can also prepare.

“We are happy that there is this opportunity to reopen the halls and we hope all the cities turn into the white zone,” Ashena said.

“One of the first plays that will go on stage at the City Theater Complex will be ‘Gorgas or Good Morning Mr. Minister’ by director Hamidreza Naeimi,” Ashena said.

Although theater halls are facing stricter conditions as compared to movie theaters, the cinema owners believe that good films need to be screened to attract audiences, while the directive banning private vehicles from 9 pm to 4 am is still observed in Tehran and large cities.

The National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, issued the directive in large cities to control the spread of coronavirus.

One thing to mention is that only a few weeks remain to the beginning of the Fajr Film Festival, and this time is always known as the dead season of cinema in Iran since not many producers are willing to screen their movies during this time of the year.

Photo: “Watching This Movie Is a Crime” by Reza Zehtabchian.

RM/MMS/YAW

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