Sakharov Special

On Wednesday 27 March, Movies that Matter wil host the annual Sakharov Special in Theater aan het Spui, Grote Zaal. This is one of our annual specials in collaboration with the Dutch liaison office of the European Parliament, highlighting the Sakharov Prize – the leading European human rights prize – and its winner(s).

In 2023, the prize was awarded by the European Parliament to Jina/Mahsa Amini and the Woman, Life, Freedom movement in Iran. Jina Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman. She was arrested by police in Tehran on 13 September 2022 for allegedly ignoring Iran’s strict veiling laws, and died in a Tehran hospital three days later following physical abuse while in custody. Her death a few days later sparked massive protests in Iran and worldwide, with women at the forefront. Under the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom”, they have been protesting the hijab law and other discriminatory laws.

This year we present a special programme dedicated to the women’s movement in Iran and women in exile in Iran. A tribute to their persistent efforts to demand that they be allowed to freely exercise their most fundamental freedoms.

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Farah Karimi, activist during the Iranian Revolution (1979) and now first member of parliament in the Netherlands, opens the evening with a personal speech.

Followed by the screening of the poetic film essay How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish, directed by Mania Akbari. After the film we talk with Mania about her film in which she reclaims her body, and that of all other women in Iranian film. Iranian journalist Aida Ghajar is also present. Aida was the first journalist reporting from Jina/Mahsa Amini’s death. She accompanied the representatives of the women’s movement to Brussels for the Sakharov Prize.

We close the evening with the dance performance Gheresh Midam, an investigation into the dancing female body as a form of resistance. Inspired by a scene from the film Gheysar, in which an Iranian actress dances in front of a predominantly male audience, Roshanak Morrowatian examines these movements and explores the subtle ways in which the body has the power to regain agency in spaces of inequality.

The evening will be hosted and moderated by Lynn Zebeda.

After the screening, DJ Ishtar will be playing Iranian revolutionary music in the foyer.

The screening with extended programme is free to attend, but booking a ticket is required.

This screening is offered in cooperation with the Liaison Bureau of the European Parliament in the Netherlands.

Logo European Parliament


Word of Welcome
Opening Speech by Farah Karimi
Screening of How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish
Panel talk with Mania Akbari and Aida Ghajar
Dance performance by Roshanak Morrowatian
End of program
22:00 - 23:30
Revolutionary music in the foyer