The movie Ameh Pasand (Popular) has been released in Iranian cinemas, with the white promotional posters featuring only the film’s title and the names of the actors.
This is due to a prohibition by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance on using images of two actresses featured in the movie, Baran Kosari and Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, who were prosecuted this year after appearing in public without the mandatory headscarf.
Ameh Pasand, directed by Soheil Beiraghi, was produced in 2018, but its release in Iran had been pending for four years until it finally obtained screening permission.
The film centers around a woman who goes against societal norms and is subjected to society’s pressures for that. It addresses the many challenges women face in Iranian society, including in finding housing and employment, or in obtaining a business license.
The Islamic Republic mandates that all women in Iran cover their hair with a headscarf and wear loose-fitting trousers under their coats, but a growing number of them, including celebrities, have appeared in public without hijab since the eruption of nationwide protests last year.
Some of these defiant women were arrested, were summoned by the authorities, and faced legal proceedings.
Hundreds of small businesses and shopping malls have been shut down under the accusation of failing to enforce hijab rules on their customers.