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Invitation Movies that Matter Festival 2024
Sakharov Special
Invitation – Sakharov Special on Iran


Movies that Matter warmly invites you to this year’s Sakharov Special Event on March 27th at our Festival in The Hague. The evening puts the spotlight on the Iranian women’s movement with a film screening, talks, dance and music.


This annual event is part of our collaboration with the European Parliament, Liaison Office in the Netherlands to honour the winners of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.


In 2023, the prize was awarded by the European Parliament to Jina Mahsa Amini and the women’s movement of Iran. The 22-year-old Kurdish Mahsa was visiting Tehran in September 2022, when she was arrested and beaten by so-called moral police for wearing the hijab the ‘wrong’ way. 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.


On Wednesday, March 27, we will screen the poetic essay How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish in Theater aan het Spui, Zaal 1.


Farah Karimi, activist during the Iranian Revolution (1979) and now first member of parliament in the Netherlands, will give an opening speech.


After the film screening, there will be a panel talk with director Mania Akbari. Mania is an Iranian filmmaker and artist, whose works explore women’s rights, marriage, sexual identity, disease, embodiment, body and trauma, body image and body politic. We also welcome Iranian journalist Aida Ghajar on stage, the first journalist to report on Mahsa Amini.  Aida also accompanied the Sakharov prize representatives of the women’s movement to Brussels. 


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 host and moderator of the evening is Lynn Zebeda.


Please register below to reserve your free spot!

Film: How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish

Employing a wealth of vintage film footage, prominent filmmaker, artist and actress Mania Akbari highlights the role of the male gaze in Iranian cinema and in doing so reclaims the female body from it. 


Akbari’s film challenges the cinematic tradition of men telling stories through the representation of women. Employing extracts from dozens of films now banned in Iran, alongside documentary footage of the 1979 revolution and excerpts from her own work, this poetic film essay explores the complexity of women’s roles in Iranian society after the Second World War and the apparent ‘freedom’ that they experienced.


Made just prior to the recent Women, Life, Freedom protests, this timely, articulate and provocative film questions how women are presented on the screen and consumed by the viewer, both on the Iranian screen and, ultimately, across the wider landscape of world cinema. ‘I’m not making a film,’ Akbari tells us, ‘I’m gazing into your gaze’.

Programme Wed 27 March


SAKHAROV SPECIAL – jin jiyan azadi
Theater aan het Spui, Zaal 1


19:45 – Doors open
20:00– Word of welcome by Lynn Zebeda 
20:02 – Opening speech by Farah Karimi
20:10 – Screening How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish (72’) 
21:22 – Panel talk & Q&A with Mania Akbar and Aida Ghajar
21:53 – Dance performance Gheresh Midam by Roshanak Morrowatian
22:00 – End of programme
22:00 – 23:30 Iranian Revolutionary Music from DJ Ishtar

How to Reserve a FREE Ticket 

Reserve a spot for the Sakharov Special  via this page

  1. Click on the above ticket link
  2. Create your account, or log in
  3. Add the €0 ticket for the screening to your chart and confirm
    Please note, you can only reserve two tickets per email address.
  4. Check your email if you have received a confirmation with your e-ticket 

We advise you to reserve your tickets in time, as the screening might be fully booked quickly.  

We kindly ask you to
  • Share this invitation with your network. 
  • Let us know if you are interested in receiving Movies that Matter flyers (English) or festival papers (Dutch) by sending an email to 
  • Cancel your ticket(s) in case you are unable to attend the screening(s) after all.  The instruction for cancelling your ticket will follow in the confirmation email. 


For questions regarding the programme, please contact Babs Anemoon Pol.
For questions regarding the ticket sales, please contact us via the support chat on our website or send an email to


This program is offered in collaboration with the Liaison Office of the European Parliament in the Netherlands


The Movies that Matter Festival 2024 is made possible by main partner Nationale Postcode Loterij and partners such as Amnesty International, ASN Bank, CFAP,  Het Cultuurfonds, Creative Europe, Fonds 1818, Fonds 21, Gemeente Den Haag, HUMAN, Janivo, Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Nederlands Filmfonds, NPO, Oak Foundation, dagblad Trouw, de Versterking, vfonds, VEVAM and VSBfonds.

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