The question in their minds was, why did the outside world, and particularly the Western world, produce all these landmines, and send them to Afghanistan? This business must be stopped. It's a dirty business to produce such a horrible device.

-Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf

There's an 800 kilometer border between Iran and Afghanistan.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
I was in jail four and a half years. When I came out, I continued the same struggle against injustice, but instead of using weapons, I began to use art and cinema.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Usually people like to categorise artists. With my films, I categorise people: if I know which one of my movies you like, I can tell which kind of a person you are.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Because there is so little room for expression otherwise, a lot of people love cinema because they find it a way of expressing themselves.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf

I'm not playing myself. It's a symbolic situation, where I want to introduce a fascist behind the table. I couldn't have had anybody else do that; for it to be successful, I had to do it myself.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
But also, there are no films being made about Afghanistan.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Afghan society is very complex, and Afghanistan has a very complex culture. Part of the reason it has remained unknown is because of this complexity.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
The Buddhas had to be destroyed by the Taliban to get the world thinking about Afghanistan.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf

In Afghanistan, this is the problem, because everybody holds a piece of that mirror, and they all look at it and claim that they hold the entire truth.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf
It was really bizarre, that Sabzian business. You know I had no interest in being photographed before this incident. But then not just Sabzian—many other people started pretending they were me! One of them actually got married while pretending he was me! My face became publicly recognizable soon after I decided to have a few photographs of me available in public to prevent these sorts of identity thefts. It is really pathetic, if you think of it. Filmmakers and filmmaking is so popular in Iran because all other forms of expression have been denied to people.