One of the leading directors in the world Abbas Kiarostami from Iran was denied an entry visa to the U.S.A. He had been invited to receive a prize for his latest movie.
Worst happen to Jafar Panahi winner of the Golden Lion 2000 he was arrested and later expelled from America, in his case he was about to receive the “Freedom of expression” prize. Don’t you think that perhaps this all axis of evil thing has gone to far?
Jack Lang, from Le Monde, siad “A sad story that shows intelectual isolation and ignorance that border lack of respect for other cultures”. I agree it is sad. http://www.lanacion.com.ar/02/09/21/ds_433386.asp
I am not sure this is a great debate. But my opinion is that things have gone to far.
And also I never cese to be impress by people like you duckster that makes an accusation (propaganda) with out a single bit of evidence. I started this thread with good faith because I was outraged by what I read in this morning news. I can guarantee you that “La Nacion” is not anti-american. On the contrary I can’t say the same about “Le Monde”… never read it.
Estilicon, go back and readrsa’s post. His first sentence is a link to an Iranian-supportive, U.S.-bashing web site. They decry what happened, but they clearly quote the U.S. officials explaining the procedure and how it was not followed.
I have no idea what happened with Mr. Panahi and you have not provided any information, either.
It is certainly true that recent Republican administrations seem to be pretty quick to keep out people with whom they disagree, politically, but without some actual facts (as those that support rsa’s conclusion), it is silly to whine on about how terrible “America” is.
Estilicon, there’s not enough information here for anyone to tell what happened. I read both links, and it sounds like Mr. Kiarostami didn’t allow enough time for visa and security processing and/or didn’t make himself available for an interview, not that he was denied the visa completely and/or forever.
I handle U.S. immigration matters for a living (although IANAL), and if you can provide some more detail about whatever Mr. Kiarostami did or didn’t do in his attempts to get a visa, I might be able to provide some more insight. I certainly agree that U.S immigration has become even more of a nightmare than it was previously; it’s made my job a living hell, and the lives of many of my clients rather Kafkaesque.
However, in practical terms it means that if you want a visa to the U.S., you have to jump through more hoops, including security clearances, and that it takes ridiculous amounts of time to jump through the hoops, so everyone has to be organized and plan ahead.
I think the gist of the issue is why an internationally acclaimed film-maker has to go through the same long-winded procedure as everyone else. Undemocratic, yes. But, hasn’t allowing certain people (such as famous international artists or politicians) relatively easier and faster mobility across countries usually been followed as a policy?
Famous people need visas just like everyone else, and are NOT given any preference in terms of jumping the processing queue. My office has done visa petitions for all kinds of famous people, including actors and directors whose names would be MUCH more familiar to the average American than Mr. Kiarostami’s is. They apparently just have people who know that especially in this day and age, they need to plan ahead.
The unwarranted sarcasm and erroneous analogies aside (I was just enquiring by the way), the reason I brought this up as a possibility is this: This is not necessarily about who is famous inside the US to Americans. This is about exchange of artists who are pretty much considered legends or icons or even cultural “ambassadors” internationally. (Brutus: if you followed International cinema, you will know). I thought that a relatively speedier visa process might be unofficially sanctioned at the highest governmental levels. But, Eva clarified that it is a single queue. Great. Besides, as someone pointed out one shouldn’t expect Iran and US to have such a diplomatic relation anyway!
For clearifacational purposes, just because some government official makes a bad call or over reacts to something, doesn’t mean that all of America is over reacting or exagerating. Although, you seemed to have posed the question that way.