For each year's celebration of Christmas, the world prepares a reminder that peace and goodwill are guiding stars, not destinations where we can stop and rest. This year's reminder comes in the form of the ghastly regime in Iran, where filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Muhammad Rasoulof have been sentenced to six years in prison and banned from filmmaking for 20 years. There is no point to naming the government's charges against them. Panahi and Rasoulof have been imprisoned for being artists. They join thousands of other Iranians who have struggled for freedom in that country.
The Daily Notebook at MUBI has been tracking both the news of the filmmakers' struggle, as well as the outrage from people of conscience worldwide. As awards season starts, giving those who make movies the means to speak to millions in their own voices, we hope as many of them as possible seize the chance to support one of their own.
Meanwhile, those of us who watch and love film, and who care about freedom, seek to contribute as best we can. I urge you to add your signatures to the online petition here.
As always, I wish my patient, and most beloved, readers the happiest of holiday seasons.