‘Hidden’ helmer Milani out on bail

Director jailed for eight days, released on $25,000 bail

ROME — Iranian director Tamineh Milani was released from prison on Sunday, following intervention from Iranian president Khatami on her behalf.

She spent eight days in jail and was released on $25,000 bail, high by local standards. Though the arrest of journalists and publishers on ideological charges has become common in the last few years, this is the first time a filmmaker has been arrested at the order of the country’s powerful, ultra-conservative Revolutionary Court.

Milani, whose last film, “Two Women,” made international festival rounds with its boldly feminist point of view, was charged with “supporting minor political groups” in her new work, “The Hidden Half.” The unusually frank story depicts a woman before and after the revolution in Iran; she confesses to her husband about an affair she had in college. What riled authorities was the heroine’s youthful depiction as a Maoist.

Surprisingly, “The Hidden Half” received a regular distribution visa from the Ministry of Culture, officially participated in this year’s Fajr festival in Teheran and is playing in theaters.

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