In honour of our cinema retrospective on censored and banned director Jafar Panahi, we're exploring censorship, restrictions, and the creativity that emerges in resistance.
Artists and filmmakers have long held a mirror up to society, exploring political, social and religious themes viewed as contentious or dangerous by those in power. As a result they are often censured, censored, and even imprisoned for the work that they create. The impact of censorship on artists can be seen around the world, including those working in Iran and China.
Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is currently banned from leaving the country, and is also prohibited from making films – a ban which he circumvented several times in producing new and transformative works.
Image courtesy of Guo Jian.
Talk & film deal:
Dr Anne Demy-Geroe teaches Asian Pacific cinema at Griffith Film School and holds a PhD on Iranian cinema from the University of Queensland, is a board member of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) and a member of the Nominations Council for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Currently Co-Director of the Iranian Film Festival Australia, she was the inaugural director of the Brisbane International Film Festival from 1991 to 2010. This year she chalked up her 17th year at the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, twice as a jury member. Anne is interested in both the aesthetics and politics of Asian cinema.
Guo Jian was born in Guizhou pronvince, China, home to many ethnic groups where cultures met and mixed. He grew up during the ultra-violent Cultural Revolution (1966-76). When war broke out on China's border with Vietnam in 1979, he joined the People's Liberation Army as a propaganda artist. His experience in the army and his participation in the student protests on Tiananmen Square in 1989 and subsequent massacre - in which he nearly lost his life - have influenced his art ever since. Since immigrating to Australia, his work on these themes has attracted the attention of the Australian and international art world. His work has been exhibited and collected in Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, USA, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and China, including Musée de Picardie in France, Brussels Art Festival, the Art Gallery Of New South Wales, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Australia.
Dr Eloise Ross is a writer, critic, and lecturer with a range of experience working with Melbourne film culture, both in organisational roles and as a qualified speaker. She has a PhD in cinema studies from La Trobe University and her research specialises in sound studies, Hollywood history, and the phenomenological experience of the cinema. Eloise has been widely published as a film critic, cultural commentator, broadcaster, and academic. She is a co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque, currently teaches in the film department at Swinburne University, is co-host of the Cultural Capital podcast.