Category Archives: please share/re-blog/copy this

So, here’s the deal folks….

If you have read or looked at things you enjoy on this blog, particularly today’s Clowns story, go and have a root in your purse, wallet or pocket and check out your loose change.
Calculate what you can spare and please, please make a donation to any registered charity trying to help children in Syria.

This is not a partisan appeal, I just see to many factions using children as the first casualties of war, again.

If you think the Clowns story is good enough, feel free to re blog, share on Twitter, put links on any social media you use, but please copy this post too and ask people who read the story to make donations to help Syrian children.

I drove to work this morning in tears, with the sounds of screaming,burnt children filing my car.
This is the only thing I can think to do.


Jafar Panahi – latest film at the Berlin Film Festival

i have blogged about the plight of Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi before, he is currently under house arrest, forbidden to make films, write screenplays, edit film, speak to journalists or leave the country.
His last film “This is not a film” was smuggled out of Iran – look for it on t’interweb, its out there and was made in defiance of this blanket cultural ban.

His latest film was previewed at the Berlin Film Festival last week, obviously Panahi could not be there himself, instead a large cut out photo of him stood in place of the director.

Iranian film has been decimated by a fundamentalist Islamic government, with many filmmakers in exile, unable to work, in fear of draconian bans of their creative freedom.

Panahis’ “Closed Curtain” does not currently have a cinematic release in the UK, if this changes, please, please support freedom of expression in Iran by going to see it.

Amnesty International currently are campaigning on behalf of Panahi [ links in the side bar].

Iranian cinema is extraordinary and important in terms of world cinema, if you love film and believe in cultural freedom, please get involved;
Join the Amnesty International campaign
Feel free to re-blog this article
Watch his [ and other Iranian film makers] work
Make some noise – his high international profile is probably the thing keeping him safest at the moment.

Iran has complained to the organizers of the Berlin film festival for giving Iranian director Jafar Panahi an award for an allegorical movie made in defiance of a 20-year state ban.

Panahi shared the best script prize at Berlin on Saturday for “Closed Curtain” with co-director Kamboziya Partovi for a film made in secret, which mirrors aspects of Panahi’s life under house arrest in the Islamic Republic.

“We have protested to the Berlin film festival. Its officials should amend their behavior because in cultural and cinematic exchange, this is not correct,” said Javad Shamaqdari, the head of Iran’s national cinema organization, Iran’s student news agency (ISNA) reported on Monday.

The movie follows the story of two people on the run from state security and is considered by critics to be a multi-layered portrayal of how restrictions on the filmmaker’s work and movement have brought on depression and even thoughts of suicide.

Iran banned Panahi from making films for 20 years in 2010 and sentenced him to six years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the state” following the country’s 2009 disputed presidential election.

While he remains at home under house arrest, Panahi has previously described himself as a victim of injustice and an Amnesty International statement published at the time of his conviction said he may be forced to report to prison at any time.

“Everyone knows that a license is needed to make films in our country and send them abroad but there are a small number who make films and send them out without a license. This is an offense … but so far the Islamic Republic has been patient with such behavior,” Shamaqdari said without mentioning Panahi or the film by name, ISNA reported.

A celebrated filmmaker in the West for his portrayals of issues such as women’s rights and support for political opposition, Panahi was not able to attend the Berlin festival.




Support your local bookshop

This was e-mailed to me, I have spent many happy hours in independent bookshops over the years, if you value the contribution such shops make, please share this and campaign for better support for local boook sellers.

We run the Warwick and Kenilworth bookshops, independent retailers which have been a proud part of our local high streets for many years.

As we run into the busy Christmas period, we face unrelenting pressure from huge online retailers, like Amazon, undercutting prices — and it’s pushing businesses like ours to the brink.

But what’s even worse is that Amazon, despite making sales of £2.9 billion in the UK last year, does not pay any UK corporation tax on the profits from those sales.

In our book, that is not a level playing field and leaves independent retailers like us struggling to compete just because we do the right thing.

That’s why we’ve started a petition on calling on Amazon to pay their corporation tax in the UK. Click here to join us.

All Amazon UK book and toy sales are routed through its Luxembourg subsidiary. So when the British public buy goods from Amazon, they are in fact paying a Luxembourg company.

This means Amazon can avoid paying British corporation tax on the profits it makes. Tax experts say if Amazon’s total UK sales profits were not funnelled to Luxembourg, it could be paying as much as £100m a year in British corporation tax.

As Independent booksellers, we are happy with competition in the market but believe it should be on level terms and by dodging corporation tax in this way, Amazon start with an unfair advantage.

As they grow bigger it’s inevitable that shops like ours will be under even more pressure. That’s bad for customers, bad for the high street and bad for the UK.

Amazon may be obeying the letter of the law – but they’re certainly not being fair. Recently Starbucks announced that they had caved to public pressure and would look at their tax affairs in the UK. It’s time that Amazon did the same.

We pay our taxes and so should they — please take a stand with us and tell Amazon to pay their fair share.

Thank you for your support,

Frances and Keith
Warwick & Kenilworth bookshops

PS – The Independent has already picked up on our campaign. Please share this campaign with your friends by forwarding this email or sharing this link:

Jafar Panahi – another Iranian film maker the Iranian Government want to silence..

The Iranian government, as most people know, is repressive, fundamentalist and it seems, unconcerned even when the international film community is horrified by its attempts to silence its own film makers.

Iranian cinema has had to operate under a strict Islamic code and all films have to be approved by the ministry of culture before they can be made. This has meant that filmmakers have adopted unusual approaches to narrative cinema, giving a specific feel that may be unique to Iranian films.

There are many within the Iranian film community who have had to leave the country, others are currently imprisoned, many are simply not given permission to make any films and some have draconian lengthy bans enforced upon them.

The best known of these is Jafar Panahi, he is currently banned from film making, screenplay writing, meeting with foreign journalists or even leaving the country for 20 years and is waiting to see if the appeal court uphold his 6 year prison sentence.

His most recent film “This is not a film” was smuggled out of Iran in a cake and attempts to follow the letter of the law of his many bans whilst creating something true and real.

His films are extra-ordinary, often using real people to re-enact events from their lives.

Wikipedia says

Jafar Panahi (Persian: جعفر پناهی ‎; born 11 July 1960) is an Iranian film director, screenwriter and film editor most commonly associated with the Iranian New Wave film movement. After several years of making short films and working as an assistant director for fellow Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Panahi first achieved international recognition with his feature film debut The White Balloon in 1995. The film won the Caméra d’Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, which was the first major award won by an Iranian film at Cannes. Panahi was quickly recognized as one of the most influential filmmakers in Iran. Although his films were often banned in his own country, he continued to receive international acclaim from film theorists and critics and has won numerous awards, including the Golden Leopard at the 1997 Locarno International Film Festival for The Mirror, the Golden Lion at the 2000 Venice Film Festival for The Circle and the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival for Offside.[1] His films are known for their humanistic perspective on life in Iran, often focusing on the hardships of children, the impoverished and women. Author Hamid Dabashi has said that “Panahi does not do as he is told — in fact he has made a successful career in not doing as he is told.”[2]
After several years of conflict with the Iranian government over the content of his films (including several short-term arrests), Panahi was arrested in March 2010 along with his wife, daughter and 15 friends and was later charged with committing propaganda against the Iranian government. Despite support from filmmakers, film organizations and human rights organizations from around the world, in December 2010 Panahi was sentenced to a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media and from leaving the country.[3] This led to Panahi’s last film to date: This Is Not a Film, a documentary feature in the form of a video diary that was made despite of the legal ramifications of Panahi’s arrest. It was smuggled out of Iran in a Flash-Drive hidden inside a cake and was screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

He is currently one of Amnesty Internationals’ high profile prisoners of conscience

Filmmaker Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

Jafar Panahi is an internationally celebrated film director who won the coveted “Golden Lion” prize at the Venice Film Festival for his 2000 film Dayareh (“Circle”).

Panahi has been sentenced to six years in prison plus a twenty-year ban on all his artistic activities—including film making, writing scripts, traveling abroad and speaking with media.
Panahi was convicted of “propaganda against the state” for having exercised his right to peaceful freedom of expression through his film-making and political activism. He was specifically accused of making an anti-government film without permission and inciting opposition protests after the disputed 2009 presidential election. Panahi’s artistic collaborator, Mohammad Rasoulof, was also sentenced to six years in prison. Panahi is not currently in detention but could be forced to report to prison at any time.
Jafar Panahi was detained in Evin Prison in Tehran for nearly three months following his arrest at his home on March 1, 2010.
While in prison he carried out a hunger strike to protest his degrading treatment, including being forced to stand outside in the cold with no clothing. He was invited to be a judge at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010 but was in detention during the entire festival. His absence was recognized by the presence of an empty chair meant for him in prominent view on the stage throughout the festival.

In the interests of freedom of expression and to try and convince you that this is an important and talented film maker, here are some clips and full length movies.

Jafar Panahi has just won the European Parliaments’ Sakharov Prize for human rights and freedom of thought.

If, like me, you oppose the Iranian governments’ stance on artistic freedoms, please get involved:

You can re-blog/share this article
Get involved in the Amnesty International campaign
Buy the mans’ films, most are available on Amazon
Contact him with messages of support, madly, he has a Facebook page.



Please share this

School girl shot because of her campaigning for access to education.

This is not a political or campaigning blog, but I have worked in education for many many years and its easy to forget that in parts of the world simply wanting access to education is sufficient to make you a target, even if you are a 14 year old schoolgirl

I am humbled by her bravery and determination.


This looks interesting