Iran funds comic's 'anti-Zionist' film

By Jessica Elgot, November 30, 2009
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A French far-right comedian famed for his antisemitic stunts has revealed he has been receiving funding from Iran to make ‘anti-Zionist’ films.

Comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, 43, had previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.

At a press conference in Paris at the weekend, Mr Dieudonné, originally from Cameroon, told reporters: “"We received a substantial budget allowing us to make movies on par with Hollywood, which serves as the long arm of Zionist culture.”

He added that he believed "Ahmadinejad is better loved in Iran than Sarkozy in France" and then commended the Iranian president for "surviving a media lynch"

Mr Dieudonné recently visited Iran, where he announced a film collaboration with the Iranian Experimental and Documentary Film Centre, along with its director Shafi Aqamohmmadian.

Mr Dieudonné told the Tehran Times during his visit to the country that he was looking forward to his artistic collaboration with Iran: “It is forbidden to talk about Holocaust in France, but I have arranged the comedy in such a way that it ridicules the issue of the Holocaust.

“Comedy is an influential tool and now that we cannot speak directly about it, this is the best approach to use.

“Today, there are only a few countries like Iran which is open to joint productions on these types of issues.”

Mr Dieudonné said he had met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with whom he discussed “artistic freedom.”

Mr Dieudonné said: “The president also stressed making the best use of art and culture to accurately portray imperialism and capitalism. We also discussed the censorship conducted by the Zionist lobby in Europe and their influence on the media.”

“The Zionist lobby has put a lot of pressure on me. I had at least 200 plays scheduled for performance but they were all cancelled.”

Mr Dieudonné was fined earlier this year for an antisemitic stunt during his stand-up show where he invited convicted Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson to receive an award from an actor dressed as a concentration camp victim.

He was previously fined €5,000 in November 2007 for comparing Jews to “slave-traders”. Two months previously, he called Holocaust Memorial Day “memorial pornography”.

He said: “For them, if a child at school is called a ‘dirty Jew,’ they are up in arms. To me, Zionism is the AIDS of Judaism. The Zionists have claimed a monopoly on suffering.”

Mr Dieudonné has also used the murder of Ilan Halimi as material for comedy in his one-man show.

After Mr Halimi was murdered, Julien Dray, the spokesperson of the Socialist Party, who is Jewish, said: “There is an antisemitism embedded in French society, and there are certain people who are symbolic of this.

“I will say it clearly. There is a Dieudonné effect.”

Last updated: 2:20pm, November 30 2009