I was amused to see the “quote of the day” on the BBC magazine website:

QUOTE OF THE DAY


'The opposition is still part of the Great Satan' - Iranian presidential spokesman dismisses film director Oliver Stone
well, yes.
It seems that Oliver Stone wanted to make a film about the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and asked for assistance by that government, they were not amused:
The President’s media adviser says, “While it is true that Oliver Stone is considered to be among the opposition in the U.S., the opposition is still part of the Great Satan.
It seems that one of the reasons they are not amused is because of Stone’s movie Alexander, but also because Hollywood insulted the Iranians by allowing the film “300” to be made. How dare Hollywood make a film celebrating a historical event where a couple hundred upstart Greeks decided they didn’t want to live under a benevolent Persian dictator.
Imagine that.
Presumably Iran, like those on the anti semetic right, thinks that Hollywood is full of…how should I say this, (jews). Yup. Protocol of the Elders of Zion, y’all know it’s those terrible (jews) who want to take over the world.
Stone seems unaware that the Iranian mullahs hate things coming out of Hollywood, such as women not in chadors and immoral acts. Indeed, even before they took over Iran (thanks to Jimmy Carter) they authorized the Cinema Rex fire, which killed 400 movie goers.
Some say it was done accidentally, so “insurgents” could escape with the crowd, others say it was done to incite an uprising against the Shah’s government, but most admit that it was because cinemas were “unIslamic activity:

According to Daniel L. Byman, “The movies were an affront to God, encouraging vice and Western-style decadence. So in August 1978, four Shiite revolutionaries locked the doors of the Cinema Rex in the Iranian city of Abadan and set the theater on fire…” (see Byman).

Finally, Islamists opposed cinema for ideological or doctrinal reasons. While Shia Muslims (unlike some strict Sunni Musilms) do not forbid pictures, many strict Shia believe any motion pictures “with music, dance or any other un-Islamic portrayal is haram to view.”[1] Ever since motion pictures were first introduced into Iran at the turn of the 20th century, the clerical establishment saw the medium as not only a threat to moral righteousness, but also a direct attack on their position as authority figures. The depiction of women without proper religious attire and other blasphemous content furthered anti-Western sentiment, solidifying an ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality that in part continues to maintain clerical dominance over Iranian society. [2] Today, the fire is seen by Islamists as an event where Islam triumphed over Western corruption. [5]

Now, Oliver Stone managed to make JFK without Jackie’s permission, and the movie Nixon without permission from Nixon who was still alive. So why did he think he needs permission for making this film?
I mean, it’s his own business (or maybe I should say the business of the studio’s stockholders who pay the bills) if he wants to make a film glorifying a regieme that wants to stop freedom of speech by killing people who insult them, oppresses women, and hangs gays, and threatens to nuke Israel,  but why does he need their permission?
Earth to Hollywood: Hirsi Ali’s life would make a great film.
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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket
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