Forced Confessions

Maziar Bahari, England, 2012, color / black and white, HDcam, 58'
Synopsis

Few things are more humiliating than having to reel off someone else's lies. In 2009, millions of Iranians watched on TV as filmmaker Maziar Bahari, a guest of honor at IDFA 2007, was forced to make a false confession. He had supposedly been collaborating with the West and was accused of espionage. As a filmmaker and journalist working for Western broadcasting corporations, he was the perfect scapegoat for the regime. Many intellectuals, writers, philosophers and journalists had preceded Bahari since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The director's own voice-over and interviews with fellow Iranians who have been through the same ordeal guide the viewer through the history of forced confessions in Iran. They are degrading tales of intelligent men who never thought they would have to make false confessions in public, but potentially fatal torture left them with few options. It has now been 30 years since the first false public confession. No Iranian believes any of them, but the ruling regime continues to use them. This inevitably leads to the question of what this self-deception says about Iranian society. Because, as philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo asks himself about the investigators, "How did we create such monsters and criminals?"

IDFA DocLab's Caspar Sonnen receives EDN Award 2015 March 23, 2015 | Last Friday, the 11th EDN Award was presented to IDFA's own Caspar Sonnen, for "his pioneering commitment to interactive documentary work".
In Memory of Albert Maysles March 7, 2015 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of filmmaker Albert Maysles at the age of 88. With his passing, the documentary world has lost a true inspirator.
Film entry is open March 3, 2015 | With great pleasure IDFA announces that Film Entry for the 2015 festival is now open! Again, more than 250 documentaries will be selected, running the gamut from international audience favorites to artistic experiments along the fringes of the genre. Deadlines are May 1 and August 1.
CITIZENFOUR wins Oscar for Best Documentary February 23, 2015 | Laura Poitras' documentary on Edward Snowden CITIZENFOUR, a highlight of IDFA 2014's Of Media and Men program, won the Oscar for Best Documentary last night.
Call for submission IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop February 17, 2015 | IDFA and the Dutch Cultural Media Fund encourage creative, experienced filmmakers to enter their film plans for the IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop 2015. The deadline for entry is April 6. Please note: Only Dutch speaking participants are eligible for this workshop.
Attend IDFAcademy Summer School February 1, 2015 | Entry for the IDFAcademy Summer School 2015, which will take place June 29-July 4 in the heart of Amsterdam, is now open.

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 8 hour ago
Doc talents with projects at script or editing stage: applications for the #IDFAcademySummerSchool are due today! http://t.co/ALJ3LgexRq
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 2 days ago
RT @fromthehip: Finally thanks to the brilliant curatorial mind of @casparsonnen we have 2 special IDFA Doclab screenings at #TFIi https://…
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij Fonds 21 Fonds 21