Mohammad Rasoulof, one of Iran’s most prominent filmmakers, whose latest movie “A Man of Integrity” won this year’s Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, had his passport confiscated upon his return to Tehran from the Telluride Film Festival. The incident occurred at Tehran Airport last Friday; Rasoulof was ordered to attend a court hearing.
“A Man of Integrity” lays bare the corruption and injustice in Iran through the journey of a man driven by his uncompromising desire for justice. Rasoulof told Reuters in Cannes that he had received the permission to shoot the film from Iranian authorities, but “only after signing a paper promising it would not be completely ‘dark.'”
A politically engaged director, Rasoulof has clashed with the Iranian government before. In 2011, the year he won two prizes at Cannes with “Goodbye,” he was sentenced with fellow director Jafar Panahi to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on filmmaking for alleged anti-regime propaganda. His sentence was later reduced to one year and finally suspended after his bail was paid, according to Reuters.
In 2013, Rasoulof had his passport confiscated in Tehran right before a planned trip to the Nuremburg Human Rights Film Festival, where he was due to receive a lifetime achievement award and attend the German premiere of his film “Manuscripts Don’t Burn.” The movie, which was was shot clandestinely, follows two operatives on a mission to torture and murder dissident writers and intellectuals. The film premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and won the Fipresci prize.
Rasoulof was expected to travel to several festivals in the coming months, including the Hamburg film festival, to present “A Man of Integrity.”