Movie Monday: ‘Circumstance’ at the Angelika

Princess of Persia

The lesbian romance Circumstance breaks many taboos, but for director Maryam Keshavarz, it was simply a story that had to be told.

The Arab Spring has meant a significant liberalization in Middle Eastern countries. But political freedom is one thing; artistic expression is still quite another. And, for that matter, Iran is not Egypt or Libya.

Not that the revolutions in those countries mattered to Maryam Keshavarz, who made the dauntingly radical film Circumstance. Although shot in comparatively open Lebanon (where it is still illegal to be gay), the story tells a tale of two Iranian woman who enter into a romance.

For the entire article, click here.

DEETS: Starring Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, Reza Sixo Safai. 107 minutes. R.

 

—  Rich Lopez

IGLHRC Issues Statement On Iran

The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission has issued a statement on yesterday’s story about the possible execution by stoning of two young men in Iran for having gay sex. At IGLHRC’s request, I pulled my first post on the story while they investigated. Via email:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has received reports of the imminent execution of two men in Piranshahr, Iran. By some media accounts, Ayub and Mosleh have been sentenced to death for raping a young man, filming their actions, and inserting images of President Ahmadinejad into the film. There have been reports that the men are scheduled to be killed by stoning on January 21. IGLHRC has been unable to confirm the allegations in this case.

This case is evidence, however, of much bigger problems in Iran: widespread abuse in the justice system and censorship of information. People, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender may be arbitrarily arrested, tortured, and convicted on baseless charges. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to know the facts that lie behind convictions.

IGLHRC condemns the use of capital punishment in all instances, including this one, regardless of the alleged acts with which the individuals have been accused or convicted. Likewise, IGLHRC condemns all forms of sexual violence and rape. We call on the Government of Iran to immediately annul any execution order related to this case, to end the practice of death by stoning, and to repeal the criminalization of same-sex activity.

“Iran has an impenetrable and opaque criminal justice system that makes knowing what is really happening inside the country impossible,” said Hossein Alizadeh, Regional Coordinator for IGLHRC’s Middle East and North Africa Program. “What we do know is that killing is wrong in all its forms, even when committed by the State.”

I will update you at once when further information is available.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Gays in Iran

This piece about gays in Iran is a tough read, but worthwhile. The more we can bring a spotlight to the persecution of LGBTs internationally, the more difficult it becomes for regimes to pursue murderous policies. As the author points out, the silence of the international community means death in Iran:

There is a good reason that Iran’s theocratic dictatorship denies the existence of gays inside the country. An honest acknowledgment of reality would force the authorities to acknowledge that Iranian gays are regularly marginalized, harassed, tortured, and executed.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright