The Dish: Iran’s secret obsession with satellite TV.
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Satellite TV is one nation’s secret obsession.
Satellite TV is illegal in Iran but it is also the nations secret obsession. An indulgence which has seeped into every pore of Iranian life. Satellite dishes are everywhere; illicitly crowding apartment rooftops, teetering on high-rise windowsills, even sheltering from dust storms behind remote nomadic tent villages. But ever careful to protect the populace from immoral outside influence, the Morality Police force entry into homes wielding wire cutters and sledgehammers; spoiling the fun. A wry and powerful documentary from Mohammad Rasoulof, one of Irans most skilled documentarians.
Have you ever seen a satellite dish? we ask one young village girl, almost she replies. The village elder is just as evasive, I havent seen anything with my own eyes. I wouldnt lie. If Id seen anything I would tell. We politely avert our eyes from the wires disappearing across his garden.
So what is this problem with satellite TV? Negative content we are told, immoral scenes, corrupting influences. But in a country whose prudish black marketeers laboriously edit out sex scenes, in which even tribal elders have a glint in their eye as they deny knowledge of television, it seems that there must be a darker reason for censorship.
They dont want us to witness other countries freedoms, accuses teenage Davood Kamkar, and his mother agrees, the decisions our government make are not in line with what people want. They have just had a shiny new black market dish installed in their home, and are busy registering their disapproval by catching up on the latest news.
Whatever this isolationist governments reasons for the crackdown, there is real resentment amongst its long suffering population. I dont feel safe when I go out. Id rather stay home and watch satellite, reveals Layla. When I go shopping the officials constantly question me about my way of dressing, my scarf, my makeup. Safer then, to stay at home, escape reality another way.
Iran Media Strategies/Agahan Tasvit Co – Ref. 3849
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