EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THIS IS NOT A FILM (directors: Jafar Panahi/Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; screenwriter: Jafar Panahi; cinematographer: Jafar Panahi; editor: Jafar Panahi; cast: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jafar Panahi; Palisades/Tartan Films; 2011-Iran-in Persian with English subtitles)|
|"Powerfully shows how
freedom in the arts is a necessity for any country
to ensure its citizens don't live a lie."
by Dennis Schwartz
Panahi ("Offside"/"The Circle"/"Crimson Gold")
secretly films himself on an iPhone in his Tehran luxury
apartment while under house arrest and the film is
France as a submission to the Cannes Film
Festival. It's filmed over a 24-hour period, during
the New Year's Wednesday Firework celebration. It
shows the anxious but always dignified director
conferring by phone with his lawyer to see how his
appeal is going, as he was charged with conspiring
against the Islamic Republic and received a sentence
of six years in jail, a twenty-year ban on making
films and he won't be able to leave the country. For a
great part of the film Jafar feeds his pet iguana,
acts out scenes from the censored script, shows clips
from his previous films, dismisses a fellow tenant who
wants to dump her irritable dog on him to mind while
she goes outside to celebrate, offers a set-piece with
a graduate student subbing for the building super and
getting into a long conversation with Panahi as he
takes out his trash and the director talking shop in
his apartment with documentarian filmmaker Mojtaba Mirtahmasb.
Too unimaginative to be
endearing, but as a curio film about an artist being
pressured by the government to conform or go to prison
it powerfully shows how freedom in the arts is a
necessity for any country to ensure its citizens don't
live a lie.
REVIEWED ON 6/1/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ