Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Persian Letters

How Iran Censors Foreign Films

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We have reported extensively about censorship in Iran’s state-controlled television, including censorship of foreign movies.

Iranian journalist Reza Valizadeh, who worked for some four years as a reporter, presenter, and producer with Iran’s radio and television, explained in a 2010 interview with “Persian Letters” how foreign movies and documentaries are altered on state TV to make them appropriate and Islamic in the eyes of Iranian decision makers.

“Romantic dialogue is often changed. For example, it isn’t proper for a woman to say to her partner, 'I love you.' It isn’t considered decent. It's clear how dialogue about sexual proposals is dealt with -- they are changed to marriage proposals. Also, we see that beer becomes lemonade on state television and whiskey becomes orange juice. Also, dialogue about politics is often changed.”

The “Gooya” website has reposted some images by an Iranian film publication, “Cafecinema,” depicting censorship on state television, which is tightly monitored by hard-liners.

Notice that in some cases the women’s necklines have been covered through different methods and in other cases the woman has been excised completely, apparently because of her closeness to men in the shots. Alcohol has also been removed in one of the images.
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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org