As the 16th annual Resistance Film Festival (RIFF) comes on the verge of inauguration, Eric Walberg, who is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia, has described such festivals as important to confront the US hegemonic hollywoodian invasions.
Walberg has noted that Islamophobia and Iranophobia in particular is deep-rooted in American culture, “The prejudice against Iran and Muslims in general is a product of the force of American culture, which breathes imperialism, much as in Rome. Roman citizens assumed that the Roman empire was eternal, the will of God. Muslims are by faith anti-imperialist. Even the great Muslim empires of the past -Abassids, Moghul, Ottoman and etc. - were never attempting to seize the whole world, like the British et al, and never forced citizens to abandon their faith if they were not Muslim.”
“The injustice of Palestine ensures that Muslims will resist the colonialist Israel regime, and US-Israel as a whole. Iran stands out as the most outspoken critic of empire, and is thus the target of unremitting propaganda defaming the country. This recapitulates the hostility of the West to the Soviet Union, which likewise was anti-imperialist and resisted US-Israel. It was similarly vilified and finally succumbed to the pressures against it,” he added.
The author of ‘Islamic Resistance to Imperialism’ has also referred to the topics that are mostly missing in American and European films, including family values and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, a promotion of peace and protest against warmongering, an alternative view of history from eastern, i.e., Muslim and Buddhist perspectives as well as a promotion of Islam as the way of peace.
As one of the most prestigious international film festivals in Iran, the RIFF, as put by the event’s official website, “is aimed at creating an atmosphere of dialogue and understanding of current human sufferings and fostering the human spirit of brotherhood, peace, and resisting oppression and cruelty.”
The event seeks to use the language of film as a medium to fight terrorism and violence.
Filmmakers around the world are welcome to submit their films. The awards presented also include Resistance Festival Grand Award for the best filmmaking talent; the festival trophy, an honorary diploma, and cash prize to encourage and aid the filmmaker for their next film.