Iran bans Hollywood movies

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Thursday, October 20, 2005 The President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, which he heads, has banned movies from Western nations which are seen to promote immorality, violence, drug usage, alcohol consumption, secularism, liberalism, anarchy and feminism.

Western films are widely shown in the Islamic Republic, though they are highly censored so as to remove any scenes of drug taking (including alcohol) or women dressed in clothing deemed too revealing. Also, despite a State ban on satellite TV many Iranians watch foreign movie channels.

Many believe this new ban is a gesture to the hardline conservatives who backed Ahmadinejad in the recent Iranian presidential election, and some fear for how it will be enforced. In theory home-made films will not be affected, for the law only refers to foreign movies, but some analysts say it could cause nervousness and might tempt some Iranian directors to apply self-censorship, and Al Jazeera points out that these films already undergo a censorship process.