Iranian director barred from leaving country wins top prize at Berlin film fest

Dissident Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof has won the top prize at the Berlin film festival for “There is no evil,” a searingly critical work about the death penalty in his country.

Rasoulof, 48, is currently banned from leaving Iran and was unable to accept the Golden Bear in person.

“I wish Mohammad could be here himself, but unfortunately he is not allowed to leave the country,” says producer Farzad Pak, accepting the award on his behalf.

“I would like to thank the amazing cast and crew who, put their lives in danger to be on this film.”

Rasoulof was sentenced to a year in prison last year for “attacking the security of the state,” and banned from making films for life.

He is yet to be imprisoned. His passport was confiscated in 2017 after his anti-corruption film “A Man of Integrity” premiered at Cannes.

Industry magazine “Variety” said his Golden Bear winning film was Rasoulof’s “most openly critical statement yet.”


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