The organizers of the 64th Cannes film festival decided to feature two films by Iranian opponents: This is not a film, by Panahi and Mirtahmasb, will be screened under a special session, whereas Goodbye, of Mohammad Rasoulof, has been included in the Un Certain Regard section.
True to its political position, the Festival accepted five films presented by Iran, but chose to give them the lowest possible profile.
One of them is The 9/11 Black Box by Mohamedreza Eslamloo, with Thierry Meyssan in the leading role.
The title of the film evokes an interview given by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the occasion of the last United Nations General Assembly, when he stated that we should not be afraid to open the September 11 "black box" to fathom the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.
Thierry Meyssan had won the special Prize of the Jury at the 29th Fajr Film Festival for his impressive performance as an actor and for his commitment to the promotion of Human Rights.
The Festival goers will have the opportunity to see the film twice.
The Cannes, Venice and Berlin film festivals are feuding with Iran which they accuse of repressing certain filmmakers. A case in point is Jafar Panahi who was arrested and imprisoned for three months in view of his contacts with foreign secret services. His incarceration prevented him from occupying his jury seat at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.
For a totally different reason, the Cannes Festival is wary of plugging a controversial film on September 11, in which Thierry Meyssan plays himself. Indeed, in 2002, the American Jewish Congress had called on Hollywood to boycott the Festival to pressure the French Government into banning the sale of Thierry Meyssan’s book The Big Lie. It took Woody Allen’s intervention, president of the jury at the time, to calm things down. The French minister of culture and Éric de Rothschild - member of the Rothschild banking family of France - had also intervened to save the Festival by releasing a joint communique. For obvious reasons, today’s organizers do not wish to revive the controversy.