Art And Culture

Jafari-Jozani Not to Show Film at CSW Meet in New York

The movie which premiered at the 35th Fajr Film Festival earlier this month, centers on the 1980s scandal of France’s HIV-infected blood supplies to Iran
Poster of the movie
Poster of the movie

In protest against the discriminatory and racist policies of President Donald Trump, veteran filmmaker Masoud Jafari-Jozani will not show his movie ‘Behind the Wall of Silence’ that was planned to be screened at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York, slated for March 13-24. 

He made the announcement at a recent press briefing at the location of the Society for the Protection of Handicapped Children and Youth ‘Tavanyab’, also known as Ehya Group, in Tehran, YJC reported.

The movie which premiered at the 35th Fajr Film Festival earlier this month, centers on the 1980s scandal of France’s HIV-infected blood supplies to Iran.

Ehya Group was invited by the CSW to take part in the 61st session and a parallel event of the world NGOs on empowering ‘Health Advocate Mothers’ (women heads of household living with HIV/AIDS), at the UN.

Jafari-Jozani who was to accompany the group had planned to show his latest film. However, in protest against Trump’s controversial executive order banning residents of seven Muslim countries, including Iran, from entering the US for 90 days, (which although was temporarily lifted by a US court later) the group and the filmmaker decided not to participate in the session.

 Thousands Infected

Some 1,250 hemophiliacs in France are believed to have been infected by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, before screening began in August 1985. Of these, 400 have died. Others may also have been affected as a result of blood transfusions during operations or after accidents. 

An official investigation showed that senior health officials had ordered the continued use of the blood-clotting factor that hemophiliacs need, despite knowing that it had been contaminated.

Even after the supplies were banned, contaminated blood was exported to several countries including Iran, causing the infection of at 1,800 people and the death of over 100 in Iran.

The movie cast includes Sahar Jafari-Jozani, Roya Teymourian, Amin Tarokh, Behzad Farahani, Sima Tirandaz, Shaqayeq Farahani, Siamak Safari, Fariba Motekhasses, Hussein Pakdel, Parviz Pourhosseini, Somayeh Nojoumi, Arman Darvish and Mehdi Ahmadi.

Jafari-Jozani, 68, is a graduate of filmmaking from San Francisco State University and has written, directed and produced several film series. His previous movie ‘Iran Burger’, a political comedy, was third in the country’s annual box-office list in 2015.

He directed the series ‘In the Eye of the Wind’ (2003-2009) which depicts the last few decades in modern Iranian history before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Ehya Group is a non-profit public charitable organization that since 1999 has offered free rehabilitation services to children under the age of 14. The group members have participated in the earlier sessions of the CSW several times.

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