Outing Iran: Mania Akbari

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

As a follow-up to your post on director Abbas Kiarostami:

This is a scene from Mania Akbari's film "20 Fingers".  (Akbari is the female driver in "10.") The film consists of 7 vignettes featuring Akbari and Bijan Daneshmand. In this scene the couple argue over her desire for an abortion while they navigate Tehran's busy streets on a motorcycle.

Akbari's son, who was featured in both of these films, was arrested in the current upheaval.

IndieWIRE posted an email she wrote on June 23 detailing his arrest:

I had no idea where they had taken my son to, therefore I stared looking in every  ambulance, every police station and every hospital in town I came face to face withSon other parents looking for their children as well. Mothers screaming and calling the  names of their sons and daughters. Fathers weeping silently. Terrified kids in police stations awaiting their faith…it was a total nightmare.

It was early Wednesday morning when I finally found my son at the Pasdaran’s police station. The reasons for his arrest were that he was wearing a green band to show his support for Mr. Moussavi and also that he had been identified as an active participant during the presidential campaign. Finally on Wednesday he was released with the intervention of some friends, artists and some related police authorities.”

Amin had been subjected to serious beatings and emotional disturbance. I felt ashamed of seeing him in his condition. I had created a false illusion for him regarding the country he had been born in, about prevailing humanism and democratic atmosphere. I had always encouraged him to consider going to top universities in Iran, instead of opting for studying abroad.