Abbas Kiarostami Rape Allegations


tl;dr: Actress & director Mania Akbari claimed that Kiarostami had stolen her work on the film 10 and claimed it as his own movie. She further alleged he had raped her twice: once in Tehran when she was 25 and he was approximately 60 years old, and again in London after Ten had been released.

Preserving the sanctity of cinema. Subtitles preferred, mainstream dismissed, and always in search of yet another film you have never heard of. I speak fluent French New Wave.

If she says he did, then he did. Thatís my only thought.
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.

If she says he did, then he did. Thatís my only thought.

If the bar for proof is accusation, let us hope we are never accused.

I hope you never are.
And I you.

Itís A Classic Rope-A-Dope
Iím not sure knee jerk reactions either way in situations like this are ever helpful. When these come up after death, it couldnít matter less. Unfortunately, whether Kiarastomi is found guilty or innocent in the court of public opinion will be of absolute zero significance to him. I canít imagine how it can even begin to heal the victimís trauma if itís true, but if it does bring some healing then Iím glad for her.

As far as the movie goes, it couldnít feel more Kiarastomi. All dialogue, lots of time in a car, plenty of ambiguity in the conversation. If she created the whole thing, then she deserves the credit. Hard to not see some Kiarastomi in it though.

@rauldc14, @Stirchley, @Yoda

The actress says that she is the author of most of the material and that Kiarostami plagiarized it.

Somehow, I am particularly interested in filmmakers from countries with a culture or politics that tramples on expressions of individuality or beauty, from countries where women or entire societies are oppressed by the system. It must be especially tough for sensitive individuals to observe reality and translate their observations onto film. Kiarostami seemed to me like this kind of filmmaker, but if the allegations are true, then Kiarostami is the very antonym of his art, which brings us to the question of art versus artist. Namely, how one's art doesn't necessarily reflect their sensibilities and how the celebration of life in film can figuratively speaking, turn into the celebration of death in real life.

But there's more to it. Interestingly enough, Farhadi was also accused of plagiarism by his former student Azadeh Masihzadeh. There is a theory that the Iranian government is sponsoring a plot to denigrate auteurs. Auteurs, that is, those who could be potentially threatening to the image of the Iranian government and society in the world. And let's recall that Iran deals harshly with films that are not to the government's liking, vide Panahi getting banned from filmmaking. This brings us to yet another point worth talking about: Not Iranian censorship in particular, but censorship in general, and how it can affect artists by mutilating (and therefore transforming) their works. One only has to think about von Stroheim or Welles to see how money-motivated censorship is close to politically-motivated censorship in countries like China. Now we're close to discussing whether any sort of censorship is a good thing, including self-imposed one ("I won't watch a film by a rapist director" versus "I won't watch a film with real animals dying"). This brings other questions:
1. Does the preceding have any impact on how you view Kiarostami and his art, meaning do you separate art from an artist? What about the (that) artist?
2. Should there be the benefit of the doubt in situations like this? (The removal of Ten from Kiarostami's retrospective at the BFI.)
3. How ironic can life be, as Kiarostami is known for creating docufiction? Did he get to the point where he couldn't see the difference between life and fiction anymore? Or is real life in film impossible at all, as any documentary, including Direct Cinema, means intrusion into real life with a camera, which changes it?
4. What is freakin' true anymore? And can we really tell anyway?

But there's even more to this. There's a documentary on the making of Ten called 10 on Ten. According to Akbari, yes - Kiarostami falsified the documentary on the making of the film. It is also the most detailed description of the filmmaking process in his entire filmography, something never seen before or later. Further, Ten is shot in poorer quality than the rest of Kiarostami's filmography, Mania Akbari explicitly says it's because she shot the footage herself, earlier, with a small camera she was given. But if she shot it, and he edited it, who is really the author? Who was the director, really? Who was the auteur here?

Kiarostami is no longer alive. But there are definitely things one can talk about here other than a simple guilty-not-guilty dichotomy.

i first heard about these allegations in june, but it wasn't yet clear whether the rapist was him or some other person involved in the production. i must've missed this article though, because it makes it pretty clear. the plagiarism certainly calls into question his methods and integrity in a way that could potentially dampen his career for me, but i could probably rationalize it away if that were all it was. the rape, on the other hand, is just so vile that i can't make any excuses for it. i've called him my favorite director for years and he may still have the greatest body of work of any filmmaker (ten was always lower-tier for me anyway), but i can't imagine myself watching one of his movies for a long time, if ever again. not out of any moral obligation, as he's already escaped consequences through death, but it would be too depressing to watch one of his works of profound humanism and imagine the monster who actually made them.
Most Biblical movies were long If I Recall.
seen A Clockwork Orange. In all honesty, the movie was weird and silly