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Iranian film series continues with award-winning 'The Song of Sparrows'

February 10, 2012

The Department of History, in conjunction with the Middle East Peace Studies Program at Loyola University New Orleans, continues the spring Iranian film series with the award-winning movie, “The Song of Sparrows,” on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 157. The film series is free and open to the public.

“The Song of Sparrows,” directed by Majid Majidi, opened to critical acclaim in 2008. A story about righteousness, temptation and the bond of family, the film shows the dramatic dichotomy between rural and urban life in Iran. It was selected as Iran's representative for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards and won awards for Best Actor at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

According to Jennifer Hunt ‘11, coordinator of the series, supporting these films is an important show of solidarity for a people striving to achieve freedom of expression. Iran is a country in the throes of a cultural revolution as a progressive citizenry attempts to change its conservative leadership. The Iranian government recently dissolved the country’s last independent film guild, the House of Cinema, effectively silencing all artists who challenge the strict censorship laws of Iran’s theocratic government.

“Writing, filming and producing are already under sprawling censorship, and the dissolution of the House of Cinema leaves thousands of its members in the vulnerable position of working without the legal, social and financial support the guild once provided,” Hunt said.

The Iranian film series is designed to inspire reflection and discussion on current situations in Iran and the country’s relations with the U.S. The series showcases contemporary and independently produced films, offering Loyola students and the New Orleans public an in-depth and multifaceted perspective on Iran’s complex and culturally rich diverse society.

Previous films screened include the 2009 Venice Film Festival Best Director Award winner “Women without Men” and “A Separation,” winner of the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and nominee for 2012 Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Picture of the Year.

The schedule of upcoming films in the series is online at http://interdisciplinary.loyno.edu/mideastpeace/iranian-film-series.

For more information, contact Hunt at jahunt@loyno.edu.

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