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Internationally, humanists recoiled from the death pronouncement by Ayatollah Khomeini on Salman Rushdie. This confronting documentary begins with footage of Iranian protests in Amsterdam surrounding this decree, then sets out to show that the response to The Satanic Verses was not an exceptional incident, but rather a climax in a history of developing religious intolerance and dictatorial censorship. Many other Iranian writers and artists have been victims, with several of them being assassinated.

Tlie film presents several writers and artists (including Rushdie) who describe the legitimisation of censorship in Iran, and its evolution under both the Shah and the Ayatollah. It gives insight into how the world media allowed themselves to be made hostage to an international reign of terror, and how, under such regimes where innocuous words such as 'dark' and 'light' may have ambiguous and subversive meanings, rigid self-censorship arises as a byproduct of the process.

The director, Reza Allamehzadeh began making films in Iran in 1969, producing documentaries and children's films. Following imprisonment from 1973 to 1979, he fled to Holland and became a resident. He has made a children's film and feature drama in exile, but this is his first documentary.
- (VD)