According to the verdict issued by the court, Roustayi is banned from all cinematic activities during the six-month sentence and has to take courses on “filmmaking while preserving national and moral interests.”
Roustayi’s Leila’s Brothers failed to get a permit for screening in Iran for its caustic criticism of Iranian society and family reeling from economic sanctions.
While the movie was screened in international festivals, including Cannes and Munich, and won international accolade, it drew the wrath of some critics and officials in Iran for ‘insulting’ Iranian families and presenting a ‘spiteful and ugly’ image of traditions.
In an interview on the sidelines of the Munich Film Festival, Roustaei said, “A large part of my movie deals with sanctions. One can as well make a series about the sanctions and what happened in Iran. The West had problems with the government officials in Iran, but only the people paid the price.”