This Is Not a Film | Chicago Reader

This Is Not a Film

Rated NR 75 minutes 2011

In December 2010, Iran's Revolutionary Court declared writer-director Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Crimson Gold) to be guilty of propaganda against the state, sentenced him to six years in prison, and banned him from filmmaking for 20 years. That same month, Panahi, placed under house arrest, shot this digital video (2011) inside his Tehran apartment with his friend Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; it shows the filmmaker conferring by phone with his attorney on his pending appeal, reading and acting out scenes from his supposedly insurrectionary script, and beginning to crack under the realization that he's lost whatever physical and artistic freedom he might have had. Meanwhile, fireworks and gunfire outside the building herald the coming of the Persian new year, the gaiety an ironic commentary on his terrible predicament. This may not be a film, but it's a moving statement of defiance and despair.

Film Credits

Director: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Producer: Jafar Panahi

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