You Should Preserve Your Revolutionary, Religious and Values-Based Orientation

The following is an excerpt from a speech delivered on January 11, 2018 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a number of young documentary film makers:

Making documentaries is one of the most artistic blessings of the Islamic Republic, in the present time. Thankfully, good documentaries are being produced. Basically, documentaries are valuable products, and, thankfully, the orientation is a revolutionary, religious and values-based one. You should try to preserve this orientation. You should try to prevent solely artistic orientations and superficial subjects, which are commonly interesting to some artists – for example, fame and the like – from taking away the sincerity and purity of revolutionary art form from you. Revolutionary art is art, and, at the same time, there are no lies, deception, corruption and guile within it. This is Islamic art. You should preserve and maintain this spirit because it is extremely valuable.

Today the enemies of this nation, this Revolution, and this great popular movement – which has been created thanks to religion – have resorted to distorting facts, to lying and to changing the reality in the minds of individuals. Your documentaries can enlighten the minds. Of course, other films can play their part as well: there is no doubt about this; but documentaries are more straightforward and more genuine. They are based on and representative of reality. If you can preserve this revolutionary orientation and sincerity, you can render many services. You can render many services to the country, to the Revolution, to the people, to the future, to history and to the truth.

There are two kinds of criticism: the first kind is considered as words of abuse and insult, by the audience; but among the second kind, when the audience listens to criticism, they consider it as advice, while the subject matter is the same as the first kind. So, one can speak in two manners. You should try to avoid the first manner. In other words, you should disengage yourselves from the first kind (abusive criticism). When it comes to criticism, this is what I want to convey. This is my advice to you.