Closed Curtain

106 minutes 2013

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (Offside, Crimson Gold)delivers his second feature since the Islamic Revolutionary Court, incensed by his plans for a political documentary, banned him from filmmaking for 20 years. Like the first, This Is Not a Film (2011), Closed Curtain is primarily an act of defiance, though in contrast to his earlier effort, a straight documentary, this one embroiders on Panahi's real-life situation with its invented tale of a persecuted writer hiding out in Panahi's seaside home (Kambuzia Partovi) and a young woman, wanted by the government, who takes refuge with him (Maryam Moqadam). Panahi shows up near the end, and a fantasy sequence of him marching into the blue waters to his death is the movie's most sobering moment. Unfortunately, Closed Curtain also indicates there's only so much an artist can say about his own oppression before he winds up in a creative cul-de-sac. In Farsi with subtitles.

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