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Makhmalbaf film halted by grenade attack

SamiraMakhmalbaf.jpgIt seems that there's no end to controversy just now in Cannes, as the Iranian filmmakers Samira Makhmalbaf and her father Mohsen Makhmalbaf, show footage of the grenade attack on the set of their latest film that meant it couldn't be completed for Cannes.

Samira Makhmalbaf appeared in Cannes at the age of eighteen back in 2000 to show her film Sib (The Apple), a film which was competing for the Palme d'Or. She won the award for her follow-up films Takhté siah (Blackboards) and Panj é asr (At Five in the Afternoon), however this year she had nothing but the shocking footage to show.

The Iranian born filmmaker was in Afghanistan filming Two-Legged Horse, a film from a script by her father Mohsen Makhmalbaf who wrote the films Samira directed as well as Safar e Ghandehar (Kandahar), a film that gained him something of a reputation from the Taliban.

While there a man threw a grenade from the roof of a nearby bazaar right into the middle of the set, severely injuring six people and killing a horse. She speaks of the moment to The Guardian:

"I saw little boys falling to the ground and the whole street was full of blood...My first thought was that I wouldn't see my father anymore."

Her father has survived two assassination attempts while filming Safar e Ghandehar (Kandahar), apparently from the Taliban, and he has also fallen out of favour with the Iranian authorities and is living in France in exile. He believes he knows who is behind the attack.

"I have to be careful answering this because Samira is still living in Iran. But I have some reason to think the bomber came from there. The new situation in Iranian politics doesn't like me, doesn't like many things."

However they are keen to get the film completed, and this will mean filming at a much safer location. They will need to persuade the film crew to take part again however, something Mohsen says he understands if they don't want to. It seems that there are no lengths that people will go to in order to stop films being made and seen.



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